A DIRECTOR of Adventure Island told crowds of anti-vaccine passport protestors his staff will "never" be mandated to get the Covid vaccine.

James Miller gave at speech at the protest, which began at Warrior Square Park, part of a Rally to Freedom movement in England, which has already staged numerous protests across the country.

Residents with banners, slogans and stickers met in the park to hear speeches.

The organisers of the event on Saturday said they were protesting against the Government’s plans for vaccine passports and vaccinating children.


The beginning of the protest in Warrior Square park

The beginning of the protest in Warrior Square park


However, during the demonstration, comments were made referring to vaccines as “poison”, with music playing from speakers with lyrics such as “Don’t get the vaccine”.

Vaccine passports, or passes, are used to show proof of someone’s vaccine status.

Mr Miller said Adventure Island would “never” mandate its staff to take the vaccine, saying it was “irresponsible”.

He said: “I must confess something, I’m not a scientist, I have a Master’s in business and not a PhD in science, and it’s not my business what to tell 16-year-olds what to put in their body.

“It’s scary. Companies across the world are being given this mandate to their staff and it must stop.”

Mr Miller added he and others at the protest should not “come across as zealots” and said the message should be spread further.

As he began his speech, a band at the Glasshouse Café in the park began playing, forcing the demonstration to move.

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Entry to nightclubs will soon become dependent on a person’s vaccine status and ministers are considering plans to introduce the scheme at mass events and gatherings such as football matches.

Only people aged 16 or over will be offered a Covid jab, although some experts are calling for the age limit to be lowered to 12.

At present, there are no plans to vaccinate healthy 12- to 15-year-olds.

Southend Council has also launched its Grab a Jab campaign to encourage young people to get their vaccine.


The protestors in Southend

The protestors in Southend


Once speeches were concluded, the group marched from Warrior Square to the top of Southend High Street, before proceeding along the seafront.

One set of protestors chanted: “We want freedom, we want choice, we want the Government to hear our voice.”

As they marched on Marine Parade, some onlookers shouted: “We want our beach back”.

One protestor told the Echo: “We are here because we shouldn’t have to have the vaccine passport to get into venues, we should have the freedom of choice, as long as it’s informed choice. The children don’t need it.”

A total of 75 per cent of UK adults have now had both jabs of the vaccine, with experts say they will move “cautiously” down the age groups, with scientists wanting to learn more about any side effects of the jab.

The advice to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vaccine came after a small number of serious cases of Covid in this age group.