Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has warned ministers not to let ‘selfish’ people who ‘refuse’ to have covid vaccines derail plans for the final stages of easing England’s lockdown.
Lord Llyod Webber said those who won’t have a Covid jab ‘are as bad as drink drivers’, and accused them of affecting ‘an enormous number of people’s jobs and livelihoods’.
The Mail Online reports: While restrictions on theatres were lifted this morning, Lord Lloyd Webber said he would not be opening shows in his venues until all measures are scrapped, as it was ‘too costly’ to play to reduced audiences.
But he warned that people who refused to take a vaccine when offered were jeopardising the June 21 date for the final stage of England’s road map, when remaining restrictions are meant to be eased.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One he said: ‘Look at it this way. You could just say “I would like to go out and have a drink tonight and drive home and accidentally I kill somebody”. ‘Now it seems to be that nobody’s going to go out and deliberately infect anybody with Covid but it’s completely wrong if we know the science.
‘We know that the vaccines are very effective and we know that they are really broadly speaking unbelievably safe. ‘I think the Queen put it rather well when she said we had to think of other people in all of this.’
He added that the June 21 date for the final unlocking was ‘absolutely critical’, warning: ‘If that doesn’t happen, I really don’t even want to think about it.
It has been such a devastating time for everybody.
‘I just feel so strongly at the moment, particularly the people who are not getting vaccinated and everything, just how selfish it is, because so many people depend on this June 21 date, they really depend on it.
It was a view echoed by Tory MPs Conor Burns and Marcus Fysh, who said people who refuse vaccines should not hold up the easing of restrictions.
Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said: ‘As a nation we have tolerated with generally good humour the most profound curtailment of our freedoms in peacetime for the greater good.
‘It wouldn’t be right to do it again for those who have been offered a vaccine and have freely chosen not to take it – fully aware of the risks.’
Yeovil MP Mr Fysh said it would not be ‘reasonable’ to delay the ‘complete release from restrictions’ on June 21.
‘The vast majority are vaccinated, the vaccines work, and the rest now have a vanishingly small risk of harm,’ he said.
‘If people don’t want to be vaccinated it is not up to society to shield them.’
Their comments come after a senior minister told Politico that ‘the risk is a small number of idiots ruin it for everyone else’.