Covid: Eluned Morgan brands Boris Johnson a 'hypocrite' over mandatory NHS staff vaccines

Wales' health minister has dubbed Boris Johnson a 'hypocrite' amid plans for coronavirus vaccines to become mandatory for NHS staff in England.

NHS England staff will be required to be fully vaccinated by next spring.

There are between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers in England who remain unvaccinated against Covid-19, according to NHS Providers Chief Executive Chris Hopson.

NHS Wales staff will not face the demand, with the Welsh Government "content" with the numbers of healthcare staff taking up the jab, the health minister has said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with medical staff during a visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland. Credit: PA

Eluned Morgan MS slammed the "hypocrisy" of the prime minister over the move.

She said: "What I find shocking is that you have a situation where you have the UK Government insisting on people in the NHS being double vaccinated, and yet the Prime Minister can walk into a hospital without even a face mask on.

"I do think that this underlines the degree of hypocrisy that's going on amongst the Conservative government."

The health minister made the comment whilst Wales continues to have the highest rates of coronavirus in the UK.

The Senedd is set to vote on extending the current Covid pass scheme, which will see the scheme extended to theatres, cinemas and concert halls from next Monday (November 15).

Eluned Morgan said the feedback on Covid passes has been "positive" and has been "successfully used at both autumn rugby internationals so far this year".

She added: "The WRU said fans were extremely compliant and the vast majority of the crowd was seated 30 minutes before the match started.

"This mirrors feedback from Swansea and Cardiff football clubs, which have successfully been using the Covid Pass at their home games since its introduction in mid-October.

"We have also heard anecdotal feedback from people using the pass that it’s has given them confidence to attend venues and events, knowing everyone else is either fully vaccinated or has had a very recent negative test result."

Covid vaccines are set to become mandatory for NHS staff in England. Credit: PA Wire

Currently, around 530 cases per 100,000 people have coronavirus, with around 800 people in hospital as a result of the disease.

Eluned Morgan had held the press conference to give an update on the "good progress" of the Covid-19 booster vaccine programme so far.

More than half of 70 to 74-year-olds and a quarter of 65 to 69-year-olds have already had the booster, she said.