Scotland to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and large events

1 September 2021, 16:34

From Friday, people in Scotland will be able to download a QR code showing their vaccine certification
From Friday, people in Scotland will be able to download a QR code showing their vaccine certification. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Vaccine passports are to be required for entry to nightclubs and large events in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Under the plans, certification will be used for clubs as well as unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people in the audience.

It will also apply to unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 in the audience, and at any event with more than 10,000 in attendance.

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The system will be subject to a vote in the Scottish Parliament next week, and is set to be introduced later this month.

It comes after Downing Street confirmed it intends to press on with plans to introduce passports for nightclubs in England from the end of September.

Ms Sturgeon updated MSPs on coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, saying the vaccine passport system will have to be implemented "quickly" ahead of winter.

She said while the Scottish Government did "not believe that vaccination certification should ever be a requirement for any key services or in settings where people have no choice over attendance... we do consider that a limited use of vaccine certification could help to control the spread of the virus, as we head into the autumn and winter."

She said the Scottish Government is not currently considering introducing vaccine certification for the hospitality industry as a whole, though this will be kept under review.

Children and people with certain medical conditions would be exempt, she said.

From Friday, people in Scotland will be able to download a QR code showing their vaccine certification.

The First Minister added: "Many of the events and venues that are covered by the certification scheme are important - they matter to our economy, and to our cultural and social life.

"That's why we want to enable them to stay open safely.

"But they are not essential services. And the nature of them, which involves bringing many people together in relatively small areas, does mean that despite their very best efforts, they can contribute significantly to the spread of the virus."

Ms Sturgeon also said the recent rise in cases in Scotland is "extremely concerning".

She told MSPs the number of new cases is 80% higher than last week and five times higher than four weeks ago.

She said: "There is no doubt that this underlines the fact that the Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than previous strains."