Scotland plans for use of Covid vaccine passports from October 1st

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Scotland Plans For Use Of Covid Vaccine Passports From October 1St
Nurse preparing a vaccine, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Craig Paton, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Attendance at large events in Scotland will require a Covid-19 vaccine passport from October 1st, under Scottish government plans.

A paper released just hours before MSPs are due to vote on the scheme stated there would be a legal requirement for businesses to “take all reasonable measures” to ensure compliance, while ministers are also considering if there is a need for an offence to stop the “misuse” of the certificates.

The scheme will make a QR code available through a smartphone app, which will be scanned before entry is allowed to nightclubs or similar venues, adult entertainment, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, outdoor unseated events with more than 4,000 people or any event with more than 10,000 in attendance.

 

It is also hoped that mandating the use of vaccine passports will encourage more reluctant Scots to get vaccinated so they are able to attend.

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“In line with our strategic intent to ‘suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms while we recover and rebuild for a better future’, a Covid vaccine certification scheme will aid us in reducing the rate and impact of transmission,” the paper said.

It added: “Where someone does catch the virus, being vaccinated significantly reduces the likelihood of serious harm or death and in doing so alleviate pressure on the healthcare system.

“As a result, certification provides a targeted and proportionate means to reduce risk while maximising our ability to keep open certain settings and events where transmission is a higher risk.

“In addition, the need to be vaccinated is expected to encourage the remaining sections of the eligible population yet to be vaccinated to take up the offer of the vaccine.”

(PA Graphics)

Regulations will be introduced by the Scottish government and reviewed every three weeks, with the rules to be revoked when they are deemed no longer necessary.

People under 18, those who are medically exempt, participating in vaccine trials or who are employees within venues will not have to show certification to gain entry.

While MSPs will vote on the issue on Thursday afternoon, the scheme is yet to be finalised, with a passage of the paper saying: “We are working with a range of stakeholders to finalise the design of the scheme.

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“These stakeholders include local government, NHS Boards and businesses/representative organisations in sectors that will be required to implement a certification scheme.”

The paper also does not define what a nightclub is, saying: “The Scottish government is working with stakeholders to finalise a definition that will ensure the intended public health benefit, but not result in market distortion or displacement.”

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