UK to Issue 'Freedom Pass' to Citizens Who Comply with COVID Testing Scheme
Government promises Brits a 'normal life' if they pass two tests every week
The UK Government is pushing a new scheme that offers Brits a "normal life" by awarding them with a "freedom pass" for passing a COVID-19 test twice every week, according to reports.
The effort, led by former British health secretary Jeremy Hunt, has been labeled “Orwellian” by some.
Critics have slammed the move, with some even accusing Hunt of promoting "enslavement passes."
The details of the scheme are still being ironed out by officials in Whitehall, who hope it will allow the country to get back to "normal" next year.
To earn the freedom pass, people will need to be tested regularly.
Provided the results come back negative, they will then be given a letter, card, or document they can show to authorities, allowing them to move around more "freely."
The certificate would be stored on a phone, according to The Daily Mail.
The "pass" would allow people to live a relatively "normal" life until the government’s vaccination program gets up to speed.
It would even allow Britons to get away without wearing a mask, it is thought, and visit family and friends without the need to socially distance.
A source told the Telegraph: "They will allow someone to wander down the streets, and if someone else asks why they are not wearing a mask, they can show the card, letter or an App."
It comes after former health secretary Jeremy Hunt threw his backing behind the "freedom pass" concept.
His proposal suggests far less testing, however, with calls for Britons to be tested just once a month before being given their certificates.
The former health secretary has called on ministers to come up with "proper incentives" for people to get tested, self-isolate, and receive a vaccine.
Hunt's suggestion follows recommendations by behavior experts advising Downing Street, who said those not infected with the virus should be handed paper wristbands to allow them to return to a more normal life.
The Behavioural Insights team, also known as the "Nudge Unit," also suggested lotteries at testing centers and paying for people’s travel if they go to get tested.
Mr. Hunt pointed to the example of Slovakia’s mass coronavirus testing scheme, where all the countries residents aged between ten and 65 – almost four million people – were swabbed for the virus over a single weekend.
Those that tested negative were presented with a paper certificate and told they no longer needed to follow rules ordering them to stay home.