Health Secretary Sajid Javid has largely ruled out compulsory coronavirus vaccination, saying it is not something the government will ever “look into”.
His remarks came after protesters took to the streets across Europe to protest against stringent coronavirus restrictions imposed to curb rising infection rates.
Austria has made coronavirus vaccines mandatory and announced a new lockdown. The nationwide lockdown will begin on Monday and will last for ten days initially.
In Germany, ministers have acknowledged that introducing compulsory vaccination may be “inevitable”.
Germany’s Federal Tourism Commissioner Thomas Beric told DPA News Agency: “Looking back, it was wrong not to look right from the start. The hope at the time is understandable, but it was not realistic.”
The Prime Minister of Bavaria also said that “in the end we will not be able to avoid compulsory vaccination.”
speaking on BBCOn Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Javid said the UK is “lucky” to have less hesitation about vaccines than other countries.
He added: “It is up to Austria, other countries, to decide what to do. We are fortunate that in this country, although we are hesitant to have a vaccine, it is much less than elsewhere.”
Mr Javid said: “I just think on a practical level, getting vaccinated should be a positive option. If people are a little hesitant, we should work with them and encourage them.
“In terms of mandatory vaccines for the general population, I don’t think that’s something we’ll ever see.”
The government has made the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for some key employees, such as care home workers.
The deadline to fully vaccinate care home workers is November 11. Frontline NHS staff will also have to have both vaccines by 1 April.
Mr Javid also downplayed the need to impose more restrictions in the coming weeks.
They told sky News That England was “firm” in Plan A, saying: “If we need to take further measures with Plan B we will do so, but we are not at that point.”
He said: “As we all look forward to Christmas, it is very sad to see the rising number of cases in some parts of Europe. We have always known that this virus, it loves winter, this cold, dark days.” which cold brings and we need to make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect ourselves from it.
Starting Monday, people over the age of 40 will be eligible to receive a booster jab. 16 and 17 year olds will also be able to book for their second pocket next week.
Europe is experiencing a fourth wave of coronavirus infections ahead of Christmas and Greece is among other countries that have reimposed strict restrictions.
Greece has banned unvaccinated people from all commercial indoor venues such as cinemas, museums and gyms.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /