The debate on the so-called passport scheme is no surprise.

The idea sticks in my gorge simply because of the haze of dishonesty that hangs around it.

"Passport" is a lovely cosy name that suggests wide horizons and open roads.

But what is being offered is the chance not to go places and not to do things: a doorlock rather than a passport, a selective lockdown-lite.

I understand that as long as we have the virus we have the risk of Covid — though rarely fatal in future — and that might be forever.

And I understand that for a year to come we might need limitations, or at least caution. Fine — then let that be said.

We do not need to wrap it in happy misdirections.

Places such as pubs were "able to open safely" last year without everyone carrying a little docket.

If we feel the docket is needed then let us admit that this year those places are a little bit less safe, and not claim that a card or app magically makes anyone free.

"We're keeping restrictions, but not for everyone" may not be a vote winner, but it would be the most decent way to put it.

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