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BRUSSELS (LifeSiteNews) — The Council of the European Union (EU) on Friday agreed to extend the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate until at least June 2023, re-igniting concerns that the discriminatory measures imposed ostensibly to curtail the spread of the coronavirus could persist indefinitely.

According to a press release issued by the Council on Friday, “The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) formally endorsed the Council’s negotiating mandate with the European Parliament to extend the Regulation establishing the EU Digital COVID Certificate.”

In the statement, the Council asserted that the EU’s COVID jab passport, which has been used to segregate society between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, barring those who haven’t gotten the jab from many parts of society, “played an important role in facilitating the free movement of people during the pandemic.”

The decision to extend the regulation for the COVID pass comes despite the fact that the experimental drugs have not been shown to stop transmission of the virus.

In its Friday statement, the EU Council noted that “the principle of gradually lifting travel restrictions if the epidemiological situation so permits” was still in effect, despite the decision to extend the jab passport scheme for over a year.

The segregation of society by vaccine status using COVID jab passport schemes has drawn sharp criticism by many, including the authors of a comprehensive pre-print paper released last month.

Written by researchers with expertise in public health, epidemiology, bioethics, statistics, pediatrics and law from Johns Hopkins University, Oxford, Harvard, the University of Washington, and other institutions, the paper argued that “current population-wide mandatory vaccine policies are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided.”

“Restricting people’s access to work, education, public transport, and social life based on COVID-19 vaccination status impinges on human rights, promotes stigma and social polarization, and adversely affects health and well being,” the authors stated.

The researchers also cited studies suggesting that far from incentivizing vaccine uptake for those skeptical of the jabs’ efficacy and safety, mandates and social controls “are likely to entrench distrust,” provoke “a motivation to counter an unreasonable threat to one’s freedom,” and “induce a net decrease in inclination to vaccinate.”

Meanwhile, the imposition of COVID jab passports has led to massive protests around the world as hundreds of thousands of citizens have called for a permanent end to discriminatory and coercive COVID measures.

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