Covid pass starts in England despite biggest rebellion of Johnson eraon December 15, 2021 at 2:14 am

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Over-18s must now prove they are double-jabbed, or have a recent negative test, to enter certain venues.

Adults in England must now show a Covid pass to enter nightclubs, big sports matches and other large events – despite nearly 100 Conservative MPs voting against the government’s plans.

The new rules – which kick in today – require proof of double-vaccination, or a recent negative test, to enter certain venues.

MPs approved the measure in Tuesday’s vote on England’s new Covid rules.

Despite the revolt by 99 Tory MPs, the plans passed thanks to Labour support.

The Commons also backed – with smaller Conservative rebellions – the continuation of mandatory mask-wearing in most indoor settings, and compulsory vaccination for NHS workers in England.

The scrapping of self-isolation for fully vaccinated Covid contacts – in favour of daily lateral flow tests – passed unanimously without a vote.

The rebellion on Covid passes was by far the biggest since Boris Johnson took office.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “very significant blow to the already damaged authority of the prime minister”.

“It confirms that he’s too weak to discharge the basic functions of government,” he claimed.

One Tory rebel, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Browne, said the scale of the revolt meant a leadership challenge to Mr Johnson had “got to be on the cards” next year.

And former Tory chief whip, Mark Harper MP, said: “You either listen and you respond and you do things differently – or you ignore what you have been told and you plough on regardless, and then this will happen over and over again.”

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On Tuesday, England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty warned senior ministers that hospitals were facing a significant increase in the number of people being admitted with the Omicron variant.

Speaking at the same virtual cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a “huge spike” of infections – but Downing Street has insisted no further Covid restrictions are being planned.

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Analysis box by Laura Kuenssberg, political editor

Boris Johnson didn’t lose. But no prime minister wants to feel they’re losing the argument in much of their own party.

And the scale of the rebellion is even worse than predicted. Not just a slap on the wrist for Mr Johnson, but a very serious rejection of his plan.

Something that can’t be dismissed, despite his own personal appeals to his ranks.

  • Read more from Laura here
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On Tuesday, the UK recorded 59,610 new Covid cases, the highest number since January, along with 150 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.

Meanwhile, a total of 513,722 booster and third doses were given across the UK on Monday.

In Scotland have been urged to limit socialising to three households at a time, with shops and hospitality venues to be told to reinstate physical distancing and protective screens.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the advice would not apply on Christmas Day and that plans should not be cancelled.

Government statistics show 146,627 people have now died, with 150 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 10,932,545 people have tested positive, up 59,610 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 7,672 people in hospital. In total, 51,298,838 people have received their first vaccination
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