Exclusion zones needed to block ‘idiot’ anti-vaxxers from holding protests outside schools, UK health secretary says

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The UK’s health secretary, Sajid Javid, has said the government is considering placing exclusion zones around schools to stop protests by anti-vax “idiots,” amid concerns about the growing scale of the problem.

Speaking to Britain’s Sky News on Monday, Javid joined the chorus of politicians supporting restrictions around schools to prevent anti-vaxxers from targeting children with misinformation about Covid jabs.

“You’ve got, frankly, these idiots outside their school spreading vicious lies,” Javid said, adding that the government believes “It is becoming a growing problem as time goes by.”

Among the options the health secretary said were under consideration are exclusion zones around schools to halt these protests. However, Javid said it should be up to local officials to decide what restrictions to impose, rather than the national government.

The senior Tory’s backing of exclusion zones came after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called on councils to use exclusion zones to prevent “sickening” anti-vaxxers from pushing “dangerous misinformation” to school-aged children.

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A recent survey by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the UK’s leading trade union for heads of schools, colleges, and trusts, warned that around eight in 10 schools are being targeted by anti-vaxxers, through emails, on-site protests, and threats of physical harm.

After one of these demonstrations by anti-vaxxers, the head teacher at a school in Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne said it had left pupils in distress after they were shown “pictures of dead and disfigured children.”

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