Coalition MPs have backed the decision by the UK Government to ditch COVID-19 vaccine passports, saying while vaccines provide a layer of defence against the virus, the digital certificate itself “offers no protection”.
Coalition MPs are calling for national cabinet to follow United Kingdom’s lead in ditching vaccine passports for entry to premises such as pubs, nightclubs and major events.
The UK Government on Sunday announced the scheme for vaccine passports will not go ahead – an action supported by Liberal Senators Alex Antic and Eric Abetz.
Mr Antic said the government should not allow businesses to “become the agents of medical tyranny”, barring someone from entering a premises or forcing people to do things “against their will”.
“Governments in this country should take the lead of the United Kingdom and scrap the idea of vaccine passports for Australia,” Senator Antic told The Australian.
“In the same way that it is not for governments to mandate the administration of medical procedures such as vaccinations, governments should also not allow the corporate world to become the agents of medical tyranny by allowing Australians to be coerced into receiving such procedures against their will.”
He has long opposed the idea of vaccine passports, and said in July pursuing that pathway would mean the government is creating a “naughty or nice” register.
“I do have concerns about the concept of a vaccine passport I always have ever since the initial rumblings of these were heard overseas,” he told Sky News Australia host Cory Bernardi.
“It seems innocuous, recording whether or not you’ve had the jab sounds all very sensible. But of course what it’s actually doing is creating a sort of artificial ‘naughty or nice’ register.
“It does leave open the opportunity therefore for the bureaucracy for private business and even for the government at some point to shut off services and to remove rights from people who may have very good reasons for not wanting to take the vaccine.”
Mr Abetz backed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move describing it as “wrong on a practical level”.
He added fully vaccinated people could still contract and spread the virus and claimed passports “offer no protection”.