THE issue of twice weekly Covid testing for the public and the vaccine passport were debated by columnists and contributors in the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Henry Deedes said a mild jauntiness had returned to the Prime Minister as he announced the reopening of pubs and hairdressers next week.

“We are being encouraged to have twice-weekly tests to keep the Covid menace at bay,” he said. “At that rate, come autumn, we’ll all have had more time dealing with lab results than dodgy Soviet weightlifters.”

He said Boris mentioned in his Easter Monday press conference that he too was keen to get down the boozer as soon as possible and ‘cautiously’ raise a pint to his lips.

“The Prime Minister in a beer garden surrounded by beery revellers? That’ll be a fun trip for his security detail,” he added. “Much of the media questions focused on vaccine passports. Boris preferred to call them ‘Covid Status Certificates’.

“Yeah, like we’re ever gonna do that.”

The Guardian

Stephen Reicher, a member of the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science, said plans to offer increased testing were vital but it was only part of the fight against Covid.

Recent figures from Corsair suggested only 52% of people had self isolated when required, he said.

“Up until now, the barriers to self-isolation have been self-evident: taking time off work means reduced pay, some are unable to self-isolate in crowded accommodation,” he said. “The failure to provide support for self-isolation doesn’t just affect self-isolation figures, it undermines every phase of the testing system.

“As a consequence, the argument for increasing provision becomes greater than ever. Without extra support, it is largely pointless to offer everyone tests twice-weekly. “

The Daily Express

Stephen Pollard said the phrase “vaccine passport” is deliberately loaded, ‘implying some kind of statement of citizenship, without which we will not be free to go about our business in our own country. ‘

“In reality, all that is being proposed is a form of certification via the NHS app (or paper certificate), showing that someone has been vaccinated or has tested negative for Covid,” he said. “If you want to take advantage of such a vaccine certificate, you will be able to. And if for whatever reason you don’t, no one will make you.”

He said the vaccine certificate was no more than a tool to make life easier for those who wanted to use it.

“This is not about limiting where we are allowed to go, but the opposite. For the past year we have been in various degrees of lockdown.

“We are all keen to get back to living our lives as fully as possible as soon as we can - and the vaccine has been a near miraculous mechanism for that.

“A vaccine certificate is a very minor extension of that, “