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Scots to need Covid passports for nightclubs and large events

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Written by: Emma Lunn
02/09/2021
The Scottish government has announced that coronavirus vaccination certificates will be required to enter certain events and higher risk venues to help control the spread of the virus in the autumn and winter.

If the Scottish parliament backs the move in a vote next week, Scots will need proof of their Covid-19 vaccination to go to certain events and venues. These include nightclubs, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people, and any event with more than 10,000 people attending.

The scheme will only be implemented once all adults have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Children and adults that are ineligible for vaccination will be exempt.

There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry, but this will be kept under review over the next few months.

From tomorrow (3 September), Scots will be able to download a PDF copy of their vaccination certificate, with a personalised QR code, to print off instantly or store on their mobile phone for use domestically or internationally. This is in addition to the existing paper letters that can be requested from NHS Inform and the Covid Helpline.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said: “We do not want to reimpose any of the restrictions that have been in place for much of this year as we all know how much harm they have caused to businesses, to education and to people’s general wellbeing but we must stem the rise in cases.

“In addition to measures such as free testing and the installation of CO2 monitors in schools, we believe that a limited use of vaccine certification in certain higher risk settings, could help us to keep businesses open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

“They will be for use in very limited settings and never for public services such as transport, hospitals and education. This is a significant step forward and not a decision we have taken lightly but it is in line with certification in other European countries.

“Ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated remains a key priority and the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to improve on the already high up take of the vaccine. We continue to urge anyone aged 16 and over to get vaccinated, please find your local drop-in clinic by visiting NHS Inform.”

MSPs will be asked to vote on the introduction of Covid Vaccination Certification next week, contingent on agreement from the Parliamentary Bureau.

If the scheme is approved by parliament, it will then be subject to parliamentary review every three weeks, in line with previous Covid-19 measures.

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