shipping

Brexit disruption forces German exporters to think again

“A catastrophe” is how Henrik Follmann describes Brexit’s impact on his family’s chemicals company. Based in northern Germany, it recently scrapped plans to expand its UK factory because of Britain’s departure from the EU.

Follmann Chemie had planned to invest about £2.5m in making more adhesives at the plant it bought three years ago in Andover, southern England, to boost exports to EU clients. But its chief executive said this plan was wrecked by the extra difficulties of shipping goods both ways across the English Channel: “Brexit has been a nightmare, building up costs and time.”

“We were going to build extra production and storage to supply customers on the continent, but we delayed it and have now taken a strategic decision to cancel this and to expand in the EU instead,” said Follmann, the third generation of his family to run the company.

Follmann has had a tougher Brexit than many companies. But its experience of increased costs and delays to shipments between the UK and the EU is typical of many businesses grappling with the extra bureaucracy and pitfalls created by the new customs checks.

Henrik Follmann, chief executive of Follmann Chemie
Henrik Follmann, chief executive of Follmann Chemie

Even though the UK and EU agreed a last-ditch trade deal[1] to avoid tariffs on most goods when Brexit came into force on January 1, trade between the two has been disrupted[2] by higher shipping costs, transportation delays, health certificate requirements and more complex customs requirements at the border. 

The UK’s Office for National Statistics on Wednesday said[3] British exports to the EU in the first three months of this year fell 18.1 per cent from the previous quarter, while imports from the EU were down 21.7 per cent. In contrast, UK trade with non-EU countries grew slightly in the same period.

There have been signs of a partial recovery from the initial post-Brexit disruption, as UK trade with the EU increased in March, albeit at a slower pace than with other countries. But for the first time since comparable records began in 1997, the UK imported more in March from outside the EU than within it, underlining how British trade has shifted away[4] from the bloc. 

Line chart of EU exports to the UK as a % of total exports outside the EU (3-month rolling average) showing The UK's dwindling share of EU exports

“It is probably too soon to talk about the long-run effects of Brexit on trade, even though we have seen these big moves in the data recently, it could be that firms are starting to learn how to deal with these customs procedures,” said Lisandra Flach, economics professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. 

The UK has been steadily declining as a trading partner for the rest of the EU since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Its share of exports from the 27-country bloc has fallen from more than 17 per cent before the vote to 14 per cent last year, according to Eurostat. In January and February of this year, the UK’s share of EU exports outside the bloc fell[5] below 13 per cent.

Follmann said he feared that some big UK clients were considering shifting some production to the EU to serve customers in the bloc. There are already signs that foreign direct investment in the UK has been weighed down since the Brexit referendum. 

In the five years to March 2021, the number of FDI projects into the UK was up only 12 per cent compared with the previous five years because of sluggish investment growth from North America and western Europe, the main investing regions, according to data from fDi Markets, an FT-owned company tracking foreign investments. This was well below the 33 per cent expansion across EU countries.

The number of foreign greenfield investment projects into the UK fell by 40 per cent in the 12 months to March 2021 compared with the previous 12 months. While this is largely the impact of the pandemic, the fall was larger than the 30 per cent contraction registered for investment into the EU.

Column chart of 12-month to March each year, '000 showing The number of UK jobs created by greenfield foreign investment shrank

“A lot of adjustments by companies have already happened in the years before Brexit,” said Flach, who co-wrote a report for the German government on the impact of the UK’s departure last year.

Germany accounts for a quarter of all EU exports to the UK meaning it has been affected more than most countries by Brexit disruption. Many of the small and medium-sized companies that are the backbone of Germany’s export-focused economy have struggled with the extra customs checks and bureaucracy now needed to ship goods to the UK.

Klaus Winkler, chief executive of Heller in front or machines
Klaus Winkler, chief executive of crankshaft machine manufacturer Heller © Thomas Kienzle/FT

“There is no vaccination against Brexit,” said Klaus Winkler, chief executive of Heller, a specialist in making crankshaft machines to mill engine parts that is based in Nürtingen, near Stuttgart in south-west Germany. It has a UK plant that assembles many of its machines in Redditch.

“A lorry travelling from Nürtingen to Redditch takes twice the time and we have to put a lot more hours into all the bureaucracy,” said Winkler. “It is quite cumbersome. We had to increase the stock levels and have maintained them because it hasn’t improved.”

Paul Maeser at the BDI, Germany’s main industry association, said many smaller companies had asked it for help with the new UK customs requirements. “Some of them have said they just can’t cope with this any more, so they won’t continue to serve this market,” he added.

Both Heller and Follmann have encountered problems with the rules of origin clauses in the Brexit trade deal. These stipulate that all goods must be able to demonstrate that they “originate” in the EU or the UK — containing about 50 per cent UK content for most products — in order to qualify for zero tariff treatment.

Some of the products Follmann exports to the UK are made by third parties outside the EU, meaning they have started to incur tariffs. “We didn’t anticipate that,” its CEO said, adding that container shipping costs to the UK have risen 20-30 per cent.

Winkler said some Chinese clients needed Heller’s products to be built in the EU, not the UK, meaning it has had to rework its production to assemble more machines in Germany. 

The UK has pushed back full customs checks on some products entering from the EU until January, which means that even some of the continent’s biggest exporters are concerned that Brexit disruption could yet get worse.

BMW, which has factories in the UK and the EU, said: “We welcome the fact that the Brexit deal resulted in a zero tariff trade arrangement, however, the additional administrative complexity has added costs to our businesses and the full weight of this will not be felt until full UK customs controls are implemented in January 2022.”

References

  1. ^ trade deal (www.ft.com)
  2. ^ disrupted (www.ft.com)
  3. ^ said (www.ons.gov.uk)
  4. ^ shifted away (www.ft.com)
  5. ^ fell (trade.ec.europa.eu)

Brexit: Lorry boss ‘resorts to using scantily-clad women for job ads’

Lorry firm boss says he has had to resort to using scantily-clad women to advertise jobs at roadside after drought of applicants due to Brexit

  • BWN truck driver agency used scantily clad women to advertise jobs on road
  • Boss Adam Giles says scene was part of promotion to reverse recruitment issues
  • He says Brexit has made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in UK
  • Stunt was slammed ‘sexist’ by ‘snowflake’ BLM supporter Imogen Dangerfield 

A lorry firm boss has claimed he has had to resort to using scantily clad women to advertise driving jobs on the side of the road after suffering a drought of applications ‘due to Brexit’.

A photo shows two women posing next to a roundabout in Felixstowe, Suffolk on Friday, with one wearing a skin-tight bodysuit while the other dons a thin boob tube, tight skirt and thigh-high socks. 

They are seen holding placards which have the ad ‘drivers wanted’ and the contact details and company logo of truck driver agency BWN Driver Management Group emblazoned on them.

Company director Adam Giles said the women were part of a promotion to reverse the recruitment struggles he says he has faced since Brexit made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in the UK.

But the stunt was slammed by ‘snowflake’ mother-of-one Imogen Dangerfield, a BLM supporter who branded the agency ‘sexist for objectifying women’ in a frenzied social media tirade at the weekend.

A photo shows two women posing next to a roundabout in Felixstowe, Suffolk on Friday, with one wearing a skin-tight bodysuit while the other dons a thin boob tube, tight skirt and thigh-high socks. They are seen holding placards which have the ad 'drivers wanted' and the contact details and company logo of truck driver agency BWN emblazoned on them

A photo shows two women posing next to a roundabout in Felixstowe, Suffolk on Friday, with one wearing a skin-tight bodysuit while the other dons a thin boob tube, tight skirt and thigh-high socks. They are seen holding placards which have the ad 'drivers wanted' and the contact details and company logo of truck driver agency BWN emblazoned on them

A photo shows two women posing next to a roundabout in Felixstowe, Suffolk on Friday, with one wearing a skin-tight bodysuit while the other dons a thin boob tube, tight skirt and thigh-high socks. They are seen holding placards which have the ad ‘drivers wanted’ and the contact details and company logo of truck driver agency BWN emblazoned on them

Adam Giles said the women were part of a promotion to reverse the recruitment struggles he says he has faced since Brexit made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in the UK

Adam Giles said the women were part of a promotion to reverse the recruitment struggles he says he has faced since Brexit made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in the UK

Adam Giles said the women were part of a promotion to reverse the recruitment struggles he says he has faced since Brexit made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in the UK

But the stunt was slammed by 'snowflake' mother-of-one Imogen Dangerfield, a BLM supporter who launched into a social media tirade branding the agency 'sexist'

But the stunt was slammed by 'snowflake' mother-of-one Imogen Dangerfield, a BLM supporter who launched into a social media tirade branding the agency 'sexist'

But the stunt was slammed by ‘snowflake’ mother-of-one Imogen Dangerfield, a BLM supporter who launched into a social media tirade branding the agency ‘sexist’

She called on other people to contact BWN and complain, with haulage bosses wading into the row and branding Mr Giles’ controversial gimmick ’embarrassing’ and ‘pathetic’. 

But Mr Giles has insisted that the stunt was ‘tongue in cheek’ and ‘a bit of fun’, denying that he is being sexist and revealing that his test drives are now fully booked – proving the marketing stunt a success.

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising, with social media users praising the campaign a ‘marketing win’ and ‘ballsy but genius’ while others tore into Ms Dangerfield’s ‘1970s’ attitude.

Mr Giles said: ‘I’m a small company. we haven’t got much money to throw at advertisement. I’ve taken a bit of a tongue in cheek stunt. It’s a bit of fun.

‘I didn’t expect many people to talk about it. I’m not trying to change the truck driving industry or be sexist about this. What I’ve done, people can form their own opinion.

‘The marketing campaign has been so good I’m fully booked for test drives today, I was fully booked over the weekend. It’s achieved the desired effect.

‘There’s a very serious situation in the UK. The way the rules have changed about foreign nationals coming into the UK, guys are leaving in floods. It’s so difficult to employ lorry drivers.’  

Ms Dangerfield slammed the gimmick, calling it ‘completely inappropriate’ and claiming it ‘implies that all HGV drivers are interested in girls with their t**s out’. 

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

Mr Giles has insisted that the stunt was 'tongue in cheek' and 'a bit of fun'

Mr Giles has insisted that the stunt was 'tongue in cheek' and 'a bit of fun'

Mr Giles has insisted that the stunt was ‘tongue in cheek’ and ‘a bit of fun’

Adam Giles

Adam Giles

Imogen Dangerfield

Imogen Dangerfield

Ms Dangerfield (right), a self-described snowflake, claims she discussed the ad with Mr Giles (left) on Saturday and again yesterday, but he is still ‘unrepentant’

‘They’re dressed like sex workers,’ she complained. ‘I’m not dissing sex workers. They’re selling sex, but this is about drivers. When I saw it I was horrified. I just thought ‘what the hell’.

‘I think it’s sexist. I think it’s important to speak about it.

‘I asked how you would feel if your girlfriend was standing there in her bra and her stockings. [But] he wasn’t responding to the points that I’d made.

‘If he hadn’t been there, how safe would they have been, stood next to the docks, dressed like hookers. He dehumanised them and objectified them.

‘What does it tell people that are seeing this about your company? Would you want to work for a company that thinks you’re that shallow?

‘In some ways it’s great for him. He’s got a lot of publicity for it. He’s not contrite, but I think he knows he’s dropped the ball on this one.

‘They say it’s their choice to do it, but women are conditioned from an early age that their worth is wrapped up by how attractive they are to men.’

Ms Dangerfield, who describes herself as a snowflake on social media, claims she discussed the ad with Mr Giles on Saturday and again yesterday, but he is still ‘unrepentant’.

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising, with social media users praising the campaign a 'marketing win' and 'ballsy but genius' while others tore into Ms Dangerfield's '1970s' attitude

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising, with social media users praising the campaign a 'marketing win' and 'ballsy but genius' while others tore into Ms Dangerfield's '1970s' attitude

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising, with social media users praising the campaign a ‘marketing win’ and ‘ballsy but genius’ while others tore into Ms Dangerfield’s ‘1970s’ attitude

Ms Dangerfield's Twitter profile name contains the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter

Ms Dangerfield's Twitter profile name contains the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter

Ms Dangerfield’s Twitter profile name contains the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter

Her Facebook account states that she is a 'snowflake': 'Beautiful, unique and likely to melt'

Her Facebook account states that she is a 'snowflake': 'Beautiful, unique and likely to melt'

Her Facebook account states that she is a ‘snowflake’: ‘Beautiful, unique and likely to melt’

Gary Austin, training and development manager at container transport firm Maritime Transport Ltd, said: ‘This is shocking and out of order. The industry is working hard to encourage diversity and a haulage boss does this!’

Caron Craft, transport manager at shipping giant Penta GB, said: ‘I find it very offensive. If they do this there will be an uproar. It’s pathetic. Surely nobody would take them seriously? It’s embarrassing if they do that. 

‘It’s marking the industry as far as I’m concerned. I give my life to this job and work 24/7. What they’re planning to do is just saying ‘this is all women are good for’. Well no we’re not.

‘I just think it’s absolutely ridiculous.’

Despite the criticism, BWN’s boss boasts he has received praise from industry allies over his marketing efforts and is pleased with its success so far.

‘I’ve got 50-100 drivers and companies who have contacted me with their story and said they’re so glad you’ve been ballsy and gone with a different approach,’ Mr Giles explained.

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

She called on other people on social media to contact BWN and complain about the advert

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising

The row has even sparked a debate about sexism in advertising

‘It was a photoshoot and we’ve got some great pictures, but this one picture was just taken by a truck driver driving around the roundabout.’

After Ms Dangerfield shared images of the scantily clad women on social media, some users agreed the controversial promo was inappropriate while others disagreed.

Brian Barnard said: ‘[The pay] was obviously decent enough for them to do it. If they did it by choice, is there a problem?’

Ms Dangerfield replied: ‘Unless you don’t think that objectification of women isn’t a problem’.

Mr Barnard then posted: ‘Objectification of both men and women is used constantly. There’s seldom complaints when a man is used though. What’s the difference between this and photos of [Cristiano] Ronaldo with his shirt off?

‘Maybe they are happy being paid to be objectified and surely it’s their right if that’s what they wish to do. Whose right is it of anyone’s to tell them they shouldn’t do it?

Ms Dangerfield replied: ‘Objectification is a problem when anyone is subjected to it. And the whole ‘it’s not a problem if they don’t mind’ is redundant. Girls are conditioned from an early age to think their self-worth hangs on how attractive they are to men which they suspect these girls are prey to.

‘It’s damaging to little girls and boys to see these women are there for their looks/bodies only. This is so out of date that even F1 and boxing don’t allow it anymore.’

Nick Horton said: ‘Errr. WTF. Did you accidentally move to the 1970s.’

However, Mark Aldhouse commented: ‘Hats off to BWN, genius idea. Ballsy but genius.’

Mike Stannard added: ‘We’re all talking about it aren’t we? Marketing win, there.’

References

  1. ^ Jack Wright For Mailonline (www.dailymail.co.uk)

The Latest: France welcomes EU curb on AstraZeneca vaccine

News – AP-National

Sunday, May 9th 2021, 7:22 AM EDT

Updated:

By The
Associated Press

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the decision from the European Union not to renew its order for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Macron said the EU policy is aiming at “responding in particular to the variants… We see that some other vaccines are more efficient.”

The bloc’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, said Sunday the EU Commission has not ordered AstraZeneca shots for after June. Two weeks ago, the EU launched legal proceedings against the pharmaceutical group for allegedly failing to respect the terms of its contract.

South Africa halted earlier this year the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after preliminary data indicated it may be only minimally effective against the variant which is dominant in the country.

In France, the variant first identified in Britain has become largely dominant and the South African variant represents only a small percentage of the virus detected in the country.

Across the Channel, Britain has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centerpiece of its successful vaccination campaign.

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI — India opened vaccinations to all adults this month, hoping to tame a disastrous coronavirus surge sweeping the country, but since then the pace of administering the shots has only dropped, with states saying they only have limited stock.

New infections are still rising at record pace in the world’s second-most populous nation. Alongside a slowdown in vaccinations, states have gone to court over oxygen shortages as hospitals struggle to treat a running line of COVID-19 patients.

On Sunday, India reported 403,738 confirmed cases, including 4,092 deaths. Overall, India has over 22 million confirmed infections and 240,000 deaths. Experts say both figures are significant undercounts.

India’s Supreme Court said Saturday it would set up a national task force consisting of top experts and doctors to conduct an “oxygen audit” to determine whether supplies from the federal government were reaching states.

Complaints of oxygen shortages have dominated the top court recently, which just stepped in to make sure the federal government provided more medical oxygen to hospitals in the capital, New Delhi.

BARCELONA, Spain — Impromptu street celebrations erupted across Spain as the clock struck midnight on Saturday, when a six-month-long national state of emergency to contain the spread of coronavirus ended and many nighttime curfews were lifted.

In Madrid, police had to usher revelers out of the central Puerta del Sol square, where the scenes of unmasked dancing and group signing esembled pre-pandemic nightlife.

Teenagers and young adults also poured into central squares and beaches of Barcelona to mark the relaxation of restrictions.

“Freedom!” said Juan Cadavid, who was reconnecting with friends. The 25-year-old Barcelona resident was also rejoicing at the prospect of going back to work at a Michelin-star restaurant that has been closed for the past seven months due to pandemic-related restrictions.

BRATISLAVA — Slovakia’s government is set to discuss possible use of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine with Moscow after it was successfully tested in a Hungarian lab.

Slovakian Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky said he will talk with his country’s experts and “the Russian side about further developments on this issue.”

Hungary offered Slovakia assistance in inspecting the Russian-made vaccine after the Slovak State Institute for Drug Control said it had not received enough information about the Russian jab from its producer to be able to assess its benefits and risks.

The regulator also said the doses it received from Russia differed from those under review by the European Union’s medicines authority.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets Sputnik V abroad, called the findings “fake news.” It welcomed the results of the Hungarian tests and said it asked the Slovak drug regulator to apologize “for spreading incorrect information about Sputnik V.”

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan is struggling with a third surge of coronavirus cases, despite a complete closure of all business and transport that began this weekend and continues until May 16, the end of the Eid holidays.

Pakistan reported 118 more deaths and 3,785 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day Sunday. It has now seen nearly 19,000 deaths in the pandemic.

All businesses are now closed except for essential food stores, pharmacies and fuel stations. Public transport in major cities and town is either at halt or allowed only with 50% capacity while intercity passenger transport is completely shut. Federal authorities also extended school closures to May 21

After receiving the first consignment of 1.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Saturday, the government is trying to ramp up inoculations.

DUBAI — Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates will begin shipping aid from the World Health Organization and other groups into India for free to help fight a crushing outbreak of the coronavirus, the airline said Sunday.

The offer by Emirates, which has 95 flights weekly to nine cities in India, initially involves aid already in Dubai but may expand across the carrier’s network as time goes on. That could mean major savings for aid groups as airfreight costs have skyrocketed amid the pandemic. Demand for flown cargo stands at record levels worldwide.

Emirates made the announcement at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, already home to a WHO warehouse.

A WHO worker on a forklift moved boxes of tents made in Pakistan and rolls of net shades from South Korea preparing for the initial flight planned for next Thursday. That will be used to construct field hospitals for India’s overwhelmed health care system.

ROME — The Italian Health Ministry has set out guidelines for visiting people in nursing homes in the latest sign of reopening in the onetime epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed a decree Saturday setting out a plan that, among other things, requires visitors to either be fully vaccinated, have proof of having had COVID-19 and recovered, or a negative test result in the past 48 hours.

As in other countries, Italian nursing homes and long-term residential facilities were devastated by the pandemic, especially during the first wave of infections in the spring of 2020. The total nursing home death toll isn’t known, since so many COVID-19-suspected deaths were not counted because residents were not tested.

Italy has largely reopened after its wintertime lockdown, even though it is continuing to add around 10,000 confirmed infections and around 250-300 deaths per day. The 224 deaths reported Saturday brought Italy’s confirmed toll to 122,694, second only to Britain in Europe.

MADISON, Wisc. — U.S. states asked the federal government this week to withhold staggering amounts of COVID-19 vaccine amid plummeting demand for the shots, contributing to a growing U.S. stockpile of doses.

From South Carolina to Washington, states are requesting the Biden administration send them only a fraction of what’s been allocated to them. The turned-down vaccines amount to hundreds of thousands of doses this week alone, providing a stark illustration of the problem of vaccine hesitancy in the U.S.

More than 150 million Americans — about 57% of the adult population — have received at least one dose of vaccine, but government leaders are doing everything they can to persuade the rest of the country to get inoculated.

The Biden administration announced this week that if states don’t order all the vaccine they’ve been allotted, the administration will shift the surplus to meet demand in other states.

ISTANBUL — Produce markets were allowed to open Saturday across Turkey as the country’s strictest lockdown continues amid an economic downturn with double-digit inflation.

The markets, or “bazaars,” are integral to Turkish food culture. Producers bring their fruits and vegetables to nearly every neighborhood on set days of the week.

The full lockdown that began in late April and is set to last until May 17 has curtailed this tradition and limited it to Saturdays in designated marketplaces.

Idris Taka, a vendor selling vegetables at an open-air market in Istanbul on Saturday, says he has taken a financial hit. “We could work four to five days a week and now we can work one day out of 17 days,” he said.

Critics have said the Turkish government’s measures to fight a surge in cases have been inconsistent and impractical. Residents have been ordered to stay at home, but millions are exempt from the lockdown and continue to work in factories, hospitals, agriculture and tourism. Foreign tourists are also exempt.

Prices continued climbing in April with year-to-year inflation hovering above 17%.

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish military says 200 conscripts have been sent home from a major military exercise involving thousands of soldiers in southern and central Sweden due to a suspected outbreak of coronavirus infections.

The “Sydfront 21” drill with over 3,500 participants from 13 different units of the Swedish Armed Forces is the first major military exercise in the Scandinavian nation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exercise leader Maj. Ake Palm told Swedish broadcaster TV4 that the military made the decision to send some soldiers home after several conscripts with cold-like symptoms either tested positive or were suspected to have been infected.

Alf Johansson, head of the exercise’s communications, defended holding the drill in the middle of the pandemic.

“This is a very important exercise for the army to train together so that we can maintain our ability to defend Sweden,” Johansson told the Swedish news agency TT.

Sweden, a nation of 10 million, has recorded just over 1 million coronavirus cases, with 14,173 deaths.

HELENA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that Montana will share COVID-19 vaccines with Canadian truck drivers from neighboring Alberta.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed Friday about 2,000 truck drivers from Alberta who transport goods from Canada to the U.S. will be eligible to be vaccinated at a highway rest stop near Conrad.

The vaccines will be available between May 10 and May 23. A similar program to vaccinate truck drivers from Canada began in North Dakota last month.

The Blackfeet tribe in northern Montana has given around 1,000 vaccines to their relatives and neighbors across the border.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The owner of a Northern California bar was arrested on suspicion of selling made-to-order fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to several undercover state agents for $20 each.

The plainclothes agents from California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control were told to write their names and birthdates on Post-it notes. They say bar employees cut the cards, filled out the identifying information and bogus vaccination dates, then laminated the finished product.

Vaccination cards are being used in some places as a pass for people to attend large gatherings. The European Union is considering allowing in tourists who can prove they have been vaccinated.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s governor is barring state officials from requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they may have access to state property or services.

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon announced the directive against “vaccine passports” Friday.

Gordon in a statement encourages Wyoming residents over 16 to get vaccinated but calls it “a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”

The Cheyenne Post reports Gordon’s directive encourages Wyoming’s cities, towns, counties and private businesses to provide full access to places and services regardless of a person’s vaccine status.

Over 180,000 people in Wyoming, or almost one-third of the state’s population, have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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