British MPs voted yesterday in favor of the new measures to try to contain the covid-19 outbreak caused by the new variant of the virus, Omicron. The measures include the use of masks in indoor areas such as public transport and shops, although with the exception of pubs and restaurants; the need to present a vaccination certificate or a negative test to enter discos and other venues where mass events are held, such as soccer matches; and the most controversial: the obligation to get vaccinated for workers in the national health system. The surprise (or not) is that it was the Labor opposition that supported the restrictions announced by Boris Johnson last week, as the prime minister is currently facing a rebellion in his own ranks.
The measures have been described as “draconian”, “unnecessary” and an “attack on freedoms” by a growing group of Tory deputies who are opposed, above all, to requiring a vaccination certificate and immunization being mandatory for health personnel. The most critical voices denounced that these measures cause “discrimination” and “segregate” people.
The greatest rebellion
The House of Commons voted the so-called Plan B for England with 441 parliamentarians in favor of the use of the mask and 41 against, of the latter 38 Tories, while the use of the health passport had 369 votes in favor and 126 against . Of the latter, a hundred were conservatives, a number that exceeds the expected 70 rebels as well as the largest previous rebellion against the government of Boris Johnson, which involved 59 MPs. A blow for Johnson. The final vote decided, by 385 to 100, that front-line personnel should be required to be vaccinated, and it was unanimously decided to change the quarantine to a system of daily rapid tests.
The head of Shadow Health, Andrew Gwynne, assured before the vote that his party “will not play politics with the lives of the people” and that therefore he would not hesitate to support the Government’s proposals. Unlike the rebel conservatives, he described the rules as “proportionate” and stressed that thanks to them the population will have time to be vaccinated with the booster dose.
The executive’s goal is that by the end of December all those over 18 years of age have the three doses, the only way, according to the ‘premier’, to tackle the ‘omicron tidal wave’ that is coming. Despite this support, Labor singled out Johnson as guilty of “irreparable damage to public confidence” and of having “undermined public health messages,” in clear reference to the Christmas festivities allegedly held in Downing Street in the United States. Christmas of last year, when current restrictions did not allow this type of celebration.
Thus, Johnson’s leadership, despite this favorable vote in the House of Commons, is in question, without the support of the public, which according to the polls is plummeting, and, all things considered, without that of his own party. .
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism