Good morning. Dominic Cummings calls Boris Johnson the “shopping trolley” because he says the prime minister veers all over the place when making policy – and the evolution of the government’s policy on vaccine passports for England is a good example of where Cummings has got a point.
Originally the government ruled out the idea. Then, as the final lockdown restrictions were lifted in July, Johnson made the surprise announcement that from the end of September, people going to nightclubs would need to show proof of their vaccine status. Only last week, Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said that remained the plan.
Yesterday Sajid Javid, the health secretary, told Sky News that the government was right to consider the idea. But an hour later he told the BBC that the government was not going ahead with vaccine passports.
However, as my colleague Aubrey Allegretti reports, Tory MPs who hate the idea of vaccine passports fear the idea has not been killed off for good. Javid also said yesterday that they would remain an option for the future and, in interviews this morning, Thérése Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, said they were not ruled out forever. She told BBC Breakfast:
As Sajid Javid set out yesterday, although the formal decision is still to be made, but having reflected and looked at the details of the proposal that it’s not deemed necessary at this moment in time.
But they haven’t been ruled out forever. It’s reflecting the fact that a lot of young people have come forward and got their vaccinations over the summer.
With Johnson due to announce his winter plan for Covid tomorrow, there may be more about government coronavirus plans coming out today. We also have two potentially interesting reports on coronavirus coming from the ONS.
With the TUC and SNP conferences both taking place, there is plenty of non-Covid politics around today, too. Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on Covid deaths by vaccination status. It is also publishing a report on the impact of coronavirus on household finances.
10am: The TUC conference resumes. Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, is speaking at 11am.
11.30am: Downing Street holds its daily lobby briefing.
11.50am: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, gives a speech wrapping up the SNP’s online conference. Earlier, at 10.30am, Shona Robison, the housing and local government secretary, speaks.
Lunchtime: Boris Johnson is expected to record a short TV interview on a trip in the Midlands.
2.30pm: Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
For further Covid coverage, do read our global coronavirus live blog.
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