Scotland to consider expanding its Covid vaccine passport scheme from December

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Scotland To Consider Expanding Its Covid Vaccine Passport Scheme From December Scotland To Consider Expanding Its Covid Vaccine Passport Scheme From December
Vaccine passports, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By PA Scotland Reporters

The Scottish government is to consider expanding its coronavirus vaccine passport scheme to pubs, cinemas, theatres and other hospitality venues from December 6th, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The Scottish first minister told MSPs in the Scottish Parliament that a final decision will be made next Tuesday on whether the scheme will be expanded to cover more settings.

Vaccine passports were introduced at the start of October.

They apply to nightclubs, adult entertainment venues, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people, and any event where more than 10,000 people are present.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke in the Scottish Parliament (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ms Sturgeon said her government will also consider introducing the option to provide a negative Covid-19 test result to enter venues.

She said: “Again let me stress that we have not at this stage taken a decision to extend the reach of the scheme.

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“However, to allow us to engage openly with businesses in the coming days about the pros, cons and practicalities, I can confirm that the kinds of settings that might be in scope would be indoor cinemas, theatres, and some other licensed and hospitality premises.”

Business leaders in Scotland have claimed firms are opposed to further coronavirus restrictions.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of companies surveyed for Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) were against increased use of vaccine passports, more home working and greater use of face coverings.

Hospitality bodies also opposed the move, saying that any extension of the vaccine passport scheme would have a “devastating impact”.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “I am acutely aware that many businesses want us to remove mitigations – including certification – not extend or tighten them.

“I understand that. But all of our decisions are and must be motivated by a desire to keep people safe but also to get through what will be a challenging winter without having to re-introduce any restrictions on trade.

“We want if possible businesses to stay fully open over Christmas and through the winter, while also keeping Covid under control.

“If an expansion of Covid certification can help us do that, it would be irresponsible not to consider it.”

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She added: “While we hope very much to get through winter without re-introducing any further restrictions, as some other countries are now starting to do, we do have a duty to keep proportionate options under review and we will do so.”

The first minister also told the Scottish parliament that she was asking employers to look again at supporting more employees to work from home.

And she said there is no sign so far that the Cop26 conference in Glasgow contributed to a rise in cases of Covid-19.

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