Woman claims Walgreens photoshopped hair bun out of passport photo


A woman was left in hysterics after receiving a very baffling passport photo due to an awkward Photoshop job.

TikTok user Katie was told that her large bun was too big for the picture when visiting a US Wallgreens store, so staff edited it out – leaving her unrecognisable to friends and family.

Katie, who posts under the TikTok username @katiefiore898, shared the photo on TikTok and it has since gone viral and been viewed over 300,000 times.

She explained: “Wore a bun to get my passport pictures but they said it was too big so they just had to cut it off.”

After the blunt bun removal, Katie was left mortified at the finished result.

However, her passport mishap appears to have entertained internet users, with one person joking: “Went from Katie to Kyle.”

Another added: “Why would you wear a bun for a picture that’s going to last at least ten years.”

A third joked: “I’m dead. I’m sorry for laughing so hard at this.”

Another person said they had a similar dilemma and staff told her she couldn’t have hair on her shoulders after she tried to take her bun down.

In Australia, the required standard for passport photos means images cannot be retouched in any way and the size of the face from chin to crown can be up to a maximum of 36mm, with a minimum of 32mm.

In the US, however, passport photo regulations state that hair cannot obscure a person’s face and the head must be sized between 25 and 35mm.

It is understood that Katie went in for a new set of photos, this time without a bun.

With The Sun

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Big Brother is coming: ‘Vaccine passport can not be allowed to gain momentum’



Sky News host Alan Jones says the idea of a vaccine passport “cannot be allowed to gain momentum” stating in the last 15 months, we have seen an “extraordinary erosion of our fundamental freedoms”.

“There is loose talk which can’t be allowed to become anything more than that about vaccine passports,” he said.

“In other words, you can’t get on a plane, you can’t shop, you can’t go where you want to go unless you have proof of vaccination.

“I have warned since the beginning of all of this against the massive erosions of our freedoms. In many ways, we are all too busy trying to get on with our lives.

“If people in a certain precinct are unvaccinated, could they be declared a risk to public health? Could this be the extension of the vaccine passport idea? And where do our basic freedoms stand in relation to this?

“We have seen, in the last 15 months, an extraordinary erosion of fundamental freedoms. We learned early on in life, once bitten, twice shy. Beware lest big brother comes after us again. Vaccine passports; no.”

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Coronavirus: Vaccine passport discussions should prioritize fairness over economics, ethicist says


TORONTO —
The issue of vaccine passports is one rife with the potential for discrimination, and should be approached with a focus on fairness above the economic benefits, says one bioethicist.

“(Passports) have the potential to make the inequities that we’re seeing from COVID even worse because we know that people who are the hardest hit by COVID are actually the least likely to be vaccinated in some cases at this point in time,” University of Toronto researcher Alison Thompson told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.

“We want to make really sure that vaccine access has been equitable and that it’s been not just accessible, but that we have actually reached those communities that need it the most.”

There is a growing debate in the U.S. about whether businesses and employers can and should require proof of vaccination as a way to speed up a return to normalcy. The White House has said it will not impose a national passport, but the idea of increased access for the vaccinated has started to become reality, with some sports venues allowing access to people with proof of vaccination.

Vaccine passports are even further advanced in Europe, where the UK is currently running a trial of “COVID-status certificates”, which could allow for freer travel and enable access to certain events. The European Union is planning a “Digital Green Certificate” which would allow for free movement across borders.

According to Thompson, sports venues, airlines and other private businesses might run into legal issues in Canada if they followed suit, although she sees the ethical issue as the priority.

“Let’s be really careful about saying that we need this for economic recovery and forgetting about some of these social inequalities, and the discrimination potential here is also significant,” she said. “Legally it remains to be seen whether or not they can do that. the question is ought they to do that.”

Research shows the pandemic has hit certain populations in Canada harder than others. Low-wage workers have taken the brunt of the economic hit from lockdowns, and areas with high visible minority populations have suffered higher mortality rates. There has also been criticism that the vaccine rollout has not effectively prioritized high-risk populations.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged that all Canadian adults who want a vaccine will have one by September, the slower pace of vaccinations in other parts of the world complicates things for many of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants that Canada takes in each year.

“There are 85 countries that won’t even be vaccinated until 2023, and is that fair to require people to be vaccinated when they don’t even have access?” said Thompson.

As of Sunday, about 19 per cent of Canada’s population has received at least one vaccine dose.

Also in question is when children will be vaccinated and whether at some point, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required to attend in-person learning. While vaccine manufacturers have begun tests on younger children, no vaccine is currently authorized for use in children under 16 in Canada.

The issue of school vaccinations would seem like less of an ethical minefield as children are already required to get certain vaccines in some provinces, including Ontario. Thompson said by the time children are being vaccinated en masse it’s likely the vast majority of the adult population will be vaccinated as well, which means there will be less benefits of having passports. More broadly, she expects it will be some time before the issue of passports can be successfully tackled in Canada.

“We need to have this conversation and it’s great that we’re doing it now, because we’re hopefully about a year away from actually making this a fair requirement for people,” she said.



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Sport bodies back plans for Covid passport trials to let fans back into stadiums


Leading sports bodies have backed Government plans to use Covid test and vaccine passports as a way to allow fans to return to events.

In a joint statement, bodies including the Premier League, the FA and the England and Wales Cricket Board said Covid certificate pilots were a “credible option” to allow larger crowds in arenas and stadiums.

But they called on the government to provide more clarity on how and when stadiums will be allowed to return to full capacity “with as few restrictions as possible.”

Current pilots will see crowds capped at 25% of capacity for the largest sports stadiums.

But the bodies said this would be “insufficient” to end sport’s Covid financial crisis.

It’s hoped capacities will be increased in the fourth step of the roadmap out of lockdown, starting no earlier than 21 June.

The Government is set to launch an “events research programme” later this month, to investigate how pre-event testing and vaccine passports can make events more safe.

Covid certificates would show you’ve had the vaccine, have had Covid in the last 180 days, or had a negative test in the last two days, in order to enter a venue.



Wimbledon’s All English Tennis Club signed the statement

The first event in a month-long trial was due to be a night at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool on April 16, but the venue pulled out, blaming confused government communications.

Instead, the first event will be the FA Cup Semi-Final on April 18 at Wembley.

The schedule also includes the snooker World Championship at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield, and the FA Cup final

“This week’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government’s roadmap for easing the lockdown restrictions remains on course is very welcome news,” the statement reads.

Asking for the government to provide certainty on how the rules will work from June, they added: “The return of fans will give a huge boost to millions who enjoy a day out at a sporting event with their friends and families and be of great benefit to the economy.

“It is right that every possible action is considered to secure this outcome as soon as possible, but only for as long as an unrestricted return is considered unsafe to fans, matchday staff and the wider public.”

Other bodies signing the statement include the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs Wimbledon.

Both Rugby League and Union’s governing bodies signed the statement, as did the English Football League, the Scottish Professional Football League and Silverstone Circuit.

A Government spokesperson said: “We welcome the constructive approach from major British sports as we explore how testing covid certification and other steps can help get more fans back into stadiums and other large events safely.

“We want as many fans as possible to be able to enjoy a great British summer of sport, safely.”



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Commission must rethink vision on COVID-19 vaccine passport


The Commission’s plan to introduce a “Digital Green Pass” for EU citizens threatens fundamental rights in several respects. While the European Pirates in the Greens/EFA Group support measures that aim at restoring the freedom of movement, they need to be proportionate.

The current vision for a legislative proposal on 17 March does not seem to reflect privacy standards and risks further social division and discrimination.

For the European Pirates Delegation in the European Parliament, the Commission’s concept of a digital vaccination passport, which is supposed to ensure free travelling by collecting medical records of EU citizens, is flawed at many levels. In order to guarantee freedom of movement as well as protect data privacy rights, Pirate MEPs suggest a solution based on paper, with the optional addition of digital certificates solely stored on personal decentralised devices such as mobile phones.

Marcel Kolaja, Pirate MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, comments:

“The European Pirates stand in full support of vaccination. However, we recognise that not everyone will have the chance to get vaccinated. The Commission has to guarantee that its proposal will not increase discrimination and social division within the bloc. Therefore, a PCR test before travelling shall be equivalent to vaccination. Additionally, the digital format of the passport raises serious privacy concerns, as highly sensitive medical records would need to be accessed.”

Patrick Breyer, German Pirate MEP, emphasizes the potential privacy threats:

“The EU proposal would create electronic national centralised vaccination registers. These could too easily be used for other purposes or hacked. Sensitive medical information belongs in the hands of the patient and their trusted medical professionals only. It is sufficient for travellers to provide proof of vaccination or testing on paper, with the additional option for a digital certificate. EU citizens shall retain full control over who has access to their health information.”

Czech Pirate MEP Markéta Gregorová elaborates on the Pirate Delegation’s demands:

“A strong data protection framework containing clear rules on who can request this certificate for what purpose must be defined. There is no need for third parties to keep copies with this information. We are suggesting a process allowing you to travel without quarantine, while minimising the sensitive personal data citizens have to provide. As patients we have the right to decide whether or not we want to share our medical records from the past, that’s why we believe separate up-to-date certificates instead of a cumulative COVID pass would present a sufficient solution.”

Pirate MEP and chairperson of the European Pirates Mikuláš Peksa concludes:

“No matter which direction the European Union takes in the issue of the vaccination passports, in addition to ensuring the necessity of data privacy, it must be clear that vaccination is not compulsory. No one can be discriminated because he/she will not be vaccinated. A negative Coronavirus test must always represent an alternative. Freedom of movement is a cornerstone of the EU.”

Scientific studies have already warned against using sensitive medical data as well as limiting freedom of movement, one of the founding principles of the EU. In addition, the Regional Director for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO) recently expressed concerns over vaccination passports, pointing out that due to lack of data, vaccines have not been proven to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus yet.

Source: European Pirate Delegation

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EU edges closer to vaccine passport but says travel curbs will stay for months



VisitBritain has announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme, which assured visitors of a safe visit last year, will now be automatically awarded an international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The stamp means destinations meet international health and hygiene protocols and will aid the recovery of UK tourism, especially following any future reopening of borders to foreign visitors. 

“The globally recognised stamp enables both business and leisure travellers to distinguish destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’, and VisitBritain’s adoption will help to restore consumer confidence,” said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC.

More than 44,000 businesses across the UK are registered with the ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme.

“We are delighted that businesses certified to We’re Good To Go can also automatically register for the WTTC’s global Safe Travels stamp, recognising the standard of protocols and processes we have in place in the UK. This is also testament to the hard work and commitment of tens of thousands of businesses right across the country who have adapted and innovated to safely meet new ways of working and are already ‘good to go’,” said Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain.

“This international stamp sitting alongside our We’re Good To Go mark also serves to reinforce that ‘ring of confidence’ for visitors that UK tourism businesses, attractions and destinations have clear processes in place to welcome them back safely as travel restrictions can be lifted.”



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A new digital vaccination passport will be trialled on flights between Auckland and Sydney



Air New Zealand will trial a digital travel pass to give airlines and border authorities access to passenger health information, including their Covid-19 vaccination status, the carrier said Monday.

The scheme, dubbed a “vaccination passport” by industry observers, is intended to streamline travel once borders reopen by allowing passengers to store their health credentials in one place.

“It’s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines,” said Air New Zealand chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull.

The proposed scheme relies on an app developed by the International Air Transport Association and other airlines including Etihad and Emirates have already signed up for their own trials.

Air New Zealand aims to trial the pass on flights between Auckland and Sydney, beginning in April. 

The association’s senior vice-president Nick Careen said the app is an important milestone in restarting international travel as global vaccine rollouts get underway.

“Governments can be confident that passengers who are ‘OK to travel’ are in full compliance of Covid-19 travel requirements,” he said.

Mr Careen said the app ensured privacy by giving users control of the health data they provided.

Australia formed a one-way trans-Tasman travel bubble with New Zealand in May last year. Under the agreement residents from New Zealand would be allowed to travel in and out of Australia without quarantine.

New Zealand was supposed to allow travellers from Australia into their country by the end of March this year. 

But, due to new outbreaks in both countries, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern now says talks are still ongoing as to when they will open the bubble. 

New Zealand has been praised globally for their efforts to stamp out the virus. The country was among the first in the world to impose border restrictions and internal lockdowns.

They have reported a total of 2357 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic began.

The Air New Zealand trial begins in April.

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Air New Zealand to trial digital coronavirus vaccination passport Travel Pass for flights to Australia



Air New Zealand has announced it will trial a digital vaccination passport on flights between Auckland and Sydney from April.

The trial of the Travel Pass app, developed by the International Air Transport Association, will allow travellers to create a ‘digital health wallet’ that is linked to their passport.

Once they have been tested or vaccinated, the lab can securely send that information to the app, which is then cross-checked against the travel requirements for the country they hoped to visit.

Air New Zealand chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull compared the use of the app to a “digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines”.

“Reassuring customers that travel is, in fact, safe is one of our priorities. By using the app, customers can have confidence that everyone onboard meets the same government health requirements they do,” she said.

“By having a place to store all your health credentials digitally in one place, it will not only speed up the check-in process but unlock the potential for contactless travel.”

The airline said the trial would run for three weeks once the app was available in April, and aircrew and customers would be invited to join.

Air New Zealand said there was no centralised database holding passenger’s personal information, and it was shared with airlines at their discretion.

The IATA said the app would also provide information on a government’s health and entry requirements, locations of testing and vaccination centres.

In a statement, a federal Department of Health spokesperson said the government looked forward to reviewing the outcomes of the NZ trial.

“The Australian government is supportive of ways to ensure the safety of the Australian community through the efficient collection and verification of traveller data whilst adhering to strict privacy provisions,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the federal government was involved in the World Health Organization’s vaccination passport working group and with other governments to ensure interoperability.

He said there were four leading contenders working on vaccination passports, including the Travel Pass, an app by IBM, and the Health Pass by American company Clear, which was being used in airports across the United States.

The government has announced that Australians would be able to access their record of COVID-19 vaccination on their phones, which would be logged on the national immunisation register and then made available on the MyGov website or through the Medicare app.

In November, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the company was looking into options for digital health passes, as well as looking at making it compulsory for passengers to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding flights to or from Australia.

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Morrison says vaccine passport some way off; Victoria records three new virus cases; NASA's Perseverance Rover lands on Mars; Morrison takes Facebook news ban to world leaders; Brisbane siege continues; Coronavirus alert in Melbourne after water testing



By Stuart Marsh19 Feb 2021 06:00SA Police have taken a speed camera at Leawood Gardens on the South Eastern Freeway offline until June.Officers insist the camera is accurate, but the procedural processes in recording its findings could not be held up in court.”It needs to be strongly reinforced that SA Police are absolutely confident the camera was and is operating as per its specifications with no issues relative to the technology of the camera. The matters cancelled are done so purely from a procedural process perspective and not regarding the capabilities of the camera.” Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott said.”We also cannot lose sight of the fact that this camera was installed as a critical factor in addressing the issues of speeding heavy vehicles descending down the South Eastern Freeway into the city area where people have died.”The camera was installed after the Coroner’s recommendations to directly address this issue.”

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Coming Soon: The ‘Vaccine Passport’



In the near future, travel may require digital documentation showing that passengers have been vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus. Answers to your questions.

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