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Scottish vaccine passport app hit by technical glitch hours after launch

Written by: Emma Lunn
Scotland has launched a vaccine passport app for Scots going to nightclubs and large events, but users have complained it doesn’t work.

Proof of vaccination status is now needed at higher risk venues and events in Scotland with attendees required to show staff their Covid status.

This can be done via the NHS Scotland Covid Status App on their mobile phone or using a paper certificate. The app was launched yesterday but users are complaining it doesn’t work, they can’t register their details, or that the app can’t find their vaccination data.

One user Tweeted: “Tried to access my vaccine status on the NHS Scotland app using passport and driver’s license. Apparently there are no records that my details match to. Details are correct as they were taken off a hospital appointment letter.”

The app was made available to download on Apple and Android devices yesterday. There is now a grace period until Monday 18 October before the scheme is legally enforced.

Proof of vaccination will be needed to enter late night venues open after midnight with alcohol and music and dancing; unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people in the audience;  unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people in the audience; and any event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

The Scottish government blamed the problems with the app on the number of people downloading and using it.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Some people may be experiencing issues which are likely to be caused by extremely high initial traffic and a large number of users trying to access the app at once. We advise people whose data is not found to try again a couple of hours later.”

John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, said: “We know from expert public health analysis that we must do all we can to stem the rise in cases and reduce the pressure on the NHS. Vaccine certificates have a role to play as part of a wider package of measures. They add a further layer of protection in certain higher risk settings.

“This is a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter. I would encourage people to download the NHS Scotland Covid Status App and help our drive to keep the virus under control.”

There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry in Scotland but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months.

Exemptions to the scheme include under 18s, participants in vaccine trials, as well as people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and people working or performing in the venues.

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