It Begins: Europe Adopts Vaccine Passports

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with a vaccine vial during a visit to a vaccination center in Wales.
Geoff Caddick – WPA Pool/Getty Images

It Begins: Europe Adopts Vaccine Passports

Today British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would follow France into the authoritarian world of vaccine passports. Three weeks to stop the spread is quickly becoming Chinese Communist Party-style surveillance, complete with second-class citizens and press censorship, worldwide.

Last week, Greece and the UK decided to force all care workers to choose between having a jab or losing their job. Ireland mandated vaccine passports for restaurants and pubs. And France unveiled a plan to make normal life impossible for those who refuse the vaccine.

covid-19 passports will be required to enter cinemas, museums, theme parks and cultural centers, French President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised address. They will soon be required to enter cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals and long-distance transportation.

The covid passport will also be available for those with a recent negative test. But that test will no longer be free. So unless you want to pay for the privilege of putting a swab up your nose every few days, you’ll need to be vaccinated to go about normal life.

The Spectator wrote: “There is no question that, in practical terms, [the vaccine] will not only be compulsory, but it will be impossible to conduct a normal life without it.”

“This was undoubtedly the most authoritarian speech delivered by a French president in decades, but wrapped in a nakedly political pitch for five more years,” the article warned.

The New York Times reached the same conclusion. Macron, it wrote, “wielded a big stick, personalizing power in a way that has in the past led to criticism of him as a Jupiter-like figure.”

Macron is clear about the end game: “We must go toward vaccination of all French people; it is the only way toward a normal life.”

The coronavirus is pushing the world in a more authoritarian direction. Earlier today, in a first draft of this article I wrote: “How long before it arrives in your country?” Just minutes later, it arrived in mine.

From Macron’s point of view, his new authoritarianism is working. Yes, over 100,000 turned out to protest over the weekend. Macron took a tiny step back—only malls covering over 200,000 square feet would require vaccine passports. But in the 48 hours after his speech, 2.2 million rushed to book their jab. But if that’s not enough, “we may need to ask ourselves the question of mandatory vaccination for all,” he said.

Perhaps this is why Boris Johnson decided to follow suit. Last week he tried to get the private sector to do his dirty work. The government published “guidance” that said it was “encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the nhs’s [National Health Service’s] covid Pass in high-risk settings. The government will work with organizations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this.”

Business owners are now fearful that their insurance companies, trade unions or lawsuits could force them to mandate vaccine passports. But even if not, government guidance now says, “If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.”

The industry showed little sign of complying. So today, Johnson ratcheted it up. Vaccine passports will be required at all “nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.” Don’t be deceived—this isn’t just about nightclubs. He focused on that because most people don’t go to them. We’ve been here before. Once people get used to the idea of vaccine passports, the “other venues” category will gradually be expanded to include football matches and concerts, then cinemas and restaurants. Before long, just like in France, normal life will be impossible without a vaccine. Only, unlike France, a negative test will not be acceptable—even if you pay for it. It’s jab—or else.

It’s not clear exactly how Mr. Johnson plans to enforce this. His language was vague—he said nothing about making new laws. Perhaps he fears that he couldn’t get such a law through Parliament, so he intends to use existing health and safety legislation to bully venues into complying. If so, it would be yet another attack on the rule of law to come under cover of covid-19.

Perhaps the most sinister aspect of the whole story is how often leaders have insisted that they would never introduce vaccine passports. In April, Macron said a covid-19 pass “will never be a right of entry that differentiates between French people.” Health Minister Olivier Véran said that France has “a passion for equality” and that it was “almost inconceivable that when places reopen, they will not reopen to everyone.”

In December, Britain’s vaccine’s minister, Nadhim Zahawi, was asked if businesses would be encouraged to require vaccine passports. “I urge businesses listening to this debate to not even think about that,” he replied. Now documents have come out proving they were planning these passports the whole time.

If governments have lied about their intentions on these vaccine passports thus far, what else are they planning and lying about?

As coronavirus lockdowns shocked the world last summer, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned that these measures would make Europe more authoritarian.

“Europe’s response to covid-19 has set the stage for dictators to rise,” was the quip for his article “Coronavirus and the Holy Roman Empire” in the July 2020 Trumpet issue. He warned:

One of the most important effects of the global panic over covid-19 has been almost overlooked. Europe’s response to the pandemic is accelerating the fulfillment of one of the most crucial end-time prophecies of your Bible!

The coronavirus is hastening the arrival of the prophesied Holy Roman Empire. …

The Bible says 10 kings will rise in Europe in this end time, led by one overarching strongman. These kings will form the Holy Roman Empire.

The coronavirus pandemic is helping usher in these 10 kings!

We need to be thinking about these prophesied kings, who are rising now. As a result of the recent crisis, various European leaders have taken dictatorial measures.

That dictatorial shift was already clear last summer. Now Europe is leading the developed world into the brave new world of covid certification.

European leaders are increasingly behaving like dictators and assuming dictatorial power,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “The people of Europe are being conditioned to accept more tyrannical leadership.”

That fact has clearly proved true. Polls indicate that the majority in France support Macron’s dictatorial moves. Of course, polls have repeatedly proved open to manipulation and unreliable. But several years ago, no French leader would be able to get away with anything like what Macron has done.

These covid passes could easily progress to a Chinese Communist-style society of total state surveillance—the government tracking your every move and contact, and excluding those people it disapproves of.

Things may slow down and retreat for a time, but a Rubicon has been breached. The Western world will submit to a level of governmental control that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Here at the Trumpet, however, we’ve been forecasting a global shift toward authoritarianism for decades. The cover of our January 2018 Trumpet, for example, heralded “The New Strongman Age,” by executive editor Stephen Flurry.

“It is one of the most stunning reversals of history,” he wrote. “For nearly two centuries, the dominant geopolitical trend in the world was the spread of democratic, free societies. The British Empire led the way in the 19th century. The United States did it during the 20th century. This century will be totally different. The dominant trend thus far has been the rise of authoritarian strongmen.”

We didn’t expect a global pandemic that killed relatively few people but upended the entire Western way of life for over a year to usher in that new age. But the Trumpet, and the Plain Truth before it, have been forecasting the shift to authoritarianism for decades. Mr. Gerald Flurry’s article from last summer is a great place to find out why. It’s not because of any superior talent at news analysis or forecasting. It’s completely based on prophecies in your Bible. You can turn to the scriptures and read them for yourself.

That prophetic understanding is critical. It shows that, at the end of the day, it’s not a shadowy cabal controlling world events. Men can scheme all they want, but at the end of the day, God is in control and allowing world events to unfold according to His plan. “Coronavirus and the Holy Roman Empire” will show you what that plan is and how He is working out all these events to His own ends.