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Vaccines have brought solutions, but with them new problems have arisen for Boris Johnson

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26.03.2021

When Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday that pubs may be able to bar customers who haven’t had a Covid vaccine, the news caught even Downing Street by surprise. No 10 sources quickly moved to calm a backlash – suggesting that even if immunity passports were used, the unvaccinated would still be able to enter any premises so long as they were able to show a negative test.

This wasn’t enough to calm members of the Conservative Party’s Covid Recovery Group, with Steve Baker quick to warn that such a policy could lead to a segregated society. Other Tories weren’t as bothered by the policy as the sudden change in tune from ministers. It wasn’t so long ago that members of the Government were insisting that domestic immunity passports were a no-go as this was not a “papers, please” country.

In recent weeks, lockdown-sceptic Tories have been focused on urging the Government to speed up its roadmap out of lockdown. But it’s now dawning on backbenchers that the more important debate relates to the various upcoming government Covid reviews.

This is partly because there is little chance of speeding up the current timetable. When Johnson appeared before his party this week via Zoom, Tory MPs were struck by how determined he was to stick to his roadmap. Asked by the Covid Recovery Group chairman, Mark Harper, whether the Government could move quicker if the data allowed it, the Prime Minister gave him........

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