Hello. Dominic Cummings calls Boris Johnson the ‘shopping cart’ because he says the PM is turning all over the place when shaping policy – and the evolution of government policy on vaccine passports for England is a good example of what Cummings is right about.
Originally, the government dismissed the idea. Then, as the last lockdown restrictions were lifted in July, Johnson made the surprise announcement that from the end of September, people going to nightclubs would have to show proof of their vaccine status. Only last week Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine minister, said this remained the plan.
Health secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News yesterday that the government was right to consider the idea. But an hour later, he told the BBC the government was not moving forward with vaccine passports.
However, like my colleague Aubrey allegretti reports, Conservative MPs who hate the idea of vaccine passports fear the idea has not been killed for good. Javid also said yesterday that they would remain an option for the future and, in talks this morning, Therese Coffey, the secretary for work and pensions, said they were not left out forever. She told BBC Breakfast:
As Sajid Javid reported yesterday, although the formal decision is yet to be made, but after considering and reviewing the details of the proposal, it is not deemed necessary at this time.
But they have not been excluded forever. This reflects the fact that many young people have come forward and been vaccinated over the summer.
While Johnson is due to announce his winter plan for Covid tomorrow, there may be more information on the government’s coronavirus plans coming out today. We also have two potentially interesting reports on the coronavirus from the ONS.
With the TUC and SNP conferences both taking place, there are also a lot of non-Covid policies today. Here is the program for the day.
9:30 am: The ONS publishes figures on deaths due to Covid by vaccination status. It also publishes a report on the impact of the coronavirus on household finances.
10am: The TUC conference resumes. Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, speaks at 11 a.m.
11:30 am: Downing Street holds its daily briefing in the lobby.
11:50 a.m .: Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Prime Minister, delivers a speech concluding the SNP online conference. Earlier at 10:30 a.m., Shona Robison, Housing and Local Government Secretary, spoke.
Lunchtime: Boris Johnson is set to record a short TV interview while traveling in the Midlands.
2:30 p.m .: Thérèse Coffey, the secretary for work and pensions, answers questions in the Commons.
For more in-depth coverage of Covid, read our Global Coronavirus Live Blog.
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