Brussels slammed as MEP’s turn on EU over ‘undemocratic’ covid plans

Sturgeon slammed by campaigner over 'illiberal' vaccine passports

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The policy, which will come into force from November 3, will require MEPs to show a valid EU Digital COVID certificate in order to enter the European Parliament’s premises in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, according to an email obtained by POLITICO. The decision was taken by the secretary-general of the Parliament, Klaus Welle, after a majority of the chamber’s vice presidents voted in favour of introducing the certificate.

The policy change has sparked backlash from a group of MEPs, who wrote a letter of complaint to President of the European Parliament David Sassoli on Tuesday.

The group includes François-Xavier Bellamy from the EPP, Michèle Rivasi from the Greens, Virginie Joron from the Identity and Democracy group and Anne-Sophie Pelletier from The Left

They wrote: “To our knowledge, the European Parliament would be the first in Europe to implement such a measure.

“This would breach a very fundamental principle in a democratic house: never should an elected representative, having fulfilled all legal obligations, be prevented from entering the Parliament.”

A number of European countries, such as France, Italy and Germany have already implemented Covid passes, generally for leisure activities.

In Italy, members of the public are required to show a Green Pass QR code – obtained after one Covid vaccination, negative test or proof of recovery – for a range of activities, including indoor restaurants, cinemas, gyms and intercity trains.

But it is also required by all employees when they turn up for work.

However, Denmark phased out its Coronapas last month after being the first to adopt the pass in April. This followed the downgrading of the Covid-19 threat level to a no longer “socially critical” phase.

This comes as a UK government impact assessment, obtained by the Telegraph, revealed that vaccine passports may fuel the spread of the virus, as it may encourage people to go to poorly ventilated pubs instead of large venues.

The policy would also slash turnover for the organisers of events required to use the passports, and necessitate the hiring of thousands of stewards to implement the controls.

The document from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:”A core concern in the sector is that certification could displace activity and business away from music venues to, say, pubs with music and late alcohol licences, etc. which could be counterintuitive and potentially counter-productive.

“Similarly, if certification displaces some fans from structured and well-ventilated sports stadia, this could lead to them attending unstructured and poorly ventilated pubs instead, where they will have access to more alcohol than if there were in the stadia.

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“Evidence from the Euros showed spikes in cases associated with pubs even when England were playing abroad.”

UK Health secretary Sajid Javid has also said he is considering making vaccination compulsory for NHS staff.

He said he is “yet to make the final decision”, but added: “If you’re asking me is that something that I’m minded to do, yes I am.

“It’s not only right for someone working in the NHS because naturally they’re more likely to come into contact with Covid…but also for those they’re caring for, those who are vulnerable in hospital.

“Just like many other countries throughout Europe have done this, I think this is something we should actively be looking at.”

Covid cases across Europe are on the rise again as we approach winter.

The UK reported 43,941 new cases on Wednesday and Germany reported 23,212.

Meanwhile, France has is being threatened with a fifth wave of the virus as their case numbers have begun to rise again, after a fall following summer.

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