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What does the voice of the West Norfolk drinker think of Covid passports for pubs?

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The pubs are about to open and all the talk is about vaccination certificates. What a good idea! We could all present our ‘passport’ at the door and life at the bar could go back to normal.

Maybe we could use the same documentation to jump on a plane and head for the sun. Let’s just back up a moment and think about the practicalities.

For pubs, does this mean that a member of staff would have to be employed on the door to check people as they enter? Will they need training so that they can determine that the document presented is genuine? And what of these certificates?

Jeff Hoyle (45879748)
Jeff Hoyle (45879748)

How long will the piece of paper I was given when I had my jab last? Wouldn’t it be much better to issue a credit card sized piece of plastic with the details embedded onto a chip?

This could be scanned as you enter the premises in the same way as many football grounds now scan tickets. It would be a shame not to make the most of this opportunity and other information could be included on the card. Driver’s licence and insurance details, benefit entitlement, rail card, bus pass, library card, criminal record, health details, blood type, other vaccinations and who knows what else could be encoded.

Obviously, this would need to be kept up to date, so we could have a dedicated centre built somewhere up north to help ‘level up’. Fancy relocating to Skelmersdale anyone?

Part drunk pint of cider, ouside in a pub beer garden. (45879785)
Part drunk pint of cider, ouside in a pub beer garden. (45879785)

I believe that fake ID is pretty easy to obtain. A quick search revealed a number of companies that sell ‘novelty’ ID, so some precautions need to be taken. Maybe the card should have a photo of the bearer included, or perhaps incorporate finger print or retina scans. All this is going to cost, so it seems a bit of a waste for it to be temporary and to be discarded as soon as the pandemic ends, so why not extend it as it looks like it could be quite useful?

So, if you are an advocate of these vaccination certificates or whatever they are to be called, do you want a bit of paper or card which can be lent to a mate or copied quite easily and maybe make the situation in pubs worse by creating an illusion of safety, when in fact some people may not have had the vaccine and be present with false documentation?

Would you support an alternative, more robust form of document which is hard to forge or lend, but is likely to be the first step on the way to a national identity card and all that entails?

Think to of all the opportunities for new scams. One day last week I had four calls before lunch purporting to be from Amazon, BT, Microsoft and the Inland Revenue. Apparently, there is a warrant out for my arrest and the police were about to call. I asked if I should put the kettle on or whether it was likely to be a SWAT team who would just break down the door, and was accused of wasting the caller’s time. I don’t recommend this, just hang up is the way to go.

Rules and laws made in a hurry are quite often bad laws. Perhaps it is possible to introduce some form of vaccine certificate quickly and effectively, but it will need much thought and careful planning as with Brexit.

There is some crackpot conspiracy theory that we are all being injected with tracking nanochips alongside the vaccine. Why bother when you can insist on everyone carrying an ID card?

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