soldier coronavirus
© Reuters / Carl Recine
En soldat iført en beskyttelsesmaske står ved indgangen til et coronavirus testcenter i Liverpool, Storbritannien 11. november 2020
Tidligere sundhedssekretær Jeremy Hunt ønsker, at briterne skal tage en månedlig coronavirus-test med et negativt resultat, der tjener dem til "frihedskort". Hans idé vakte vrede hos nogle kommentatorer, der kaldte den 'Orwellian'.

I et indlæg i The Times fredag ​​beskrev Hunt en effektiv vaccine som Storbritanniens bedste bud på at vende tilbage til det normale liv. Den konservative parlamentsmedlem sagde imidlertid, at landet har brug for en 'plan B' i form af månedlige tests for hele befolkningen, med friheden til at leve et normalt liv kun tildelt dem, der viser negative resultater.

Hunt foreslog 'at tilbyde folk, der overholder test- og isolationskravene, et' frihedskort ', der fjerner kravet om at følge lockdown-regler.' Slovakiet udrulede et lignende system mindre end en måned tidligere, hvor de testede negativt tjente et certifikat, der fritog dem for udgangsforbud.


Though Hunt described the passes as an incentive to boost the uptake in testing, normal life would be quite impossible without one. In his own words, these passes should be required by people who want "to go out, shop and go to work."

The idea didn't go down well on Twitter, with commenters accusing the Surrey MP of using "Orwellian doublespeak" to promote"fascism.""It's not a 'freedom pass,'" one wrote, "it's an 'enslavement pass.'"




Hunt also suggested that the government should use the NHS Covid app "to record who has been tested and who has received the vaccine." The MP has long been a proponent of using methods that critics call "mass surveillance" to stop the spread of Covid-19. In August, he backed a report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change calling for the introduction of a "health passport that would provide evidence of an individual's Covid-19 status at any given time."

The idea of a health passport has found a receptive audience in Parliament, as the Daily Telegraph reported this week that officials want some kind of "digital immunity certificate" for those who receive a jab granting them access to concerts, football matches, and other events. Government advisers have also floated the idea of giving paper wristbands to people who have been tested, so they could "get back some freedoms if they test negative."

Hunt's proposal asks a lot of government. Ensuring that every Brit could get tested once per month would take half a million staff and 65,000 testing centres, he says. The UK currently conducts nearly 400,000 tests per day at hospitals and drive-in testing centres.

With vaccines still awaiting regulatory approval in the UK, Hunt argued that it would be possible with mass testing - and the ensuing licensing of freedom - to "return to some kind of normality" by Easter 2021.