Covid vaccine passports enforced by law in Scotland despite backlash

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Scotland became the second country in the UK to enforce a vaccine passport scheme that will come into effect from Monday, despite ongoing opposition.

Proof of full vaccination will be required for those who wish to enter any nightclub or big event as the Scottish government continues their efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus.

These measures technically came into effect from October 1, but an 18-day grace period was announced following widespread opposition by affected industries and technological issues with the app.

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People who are double-jabbed can obtain a physical or digital copy of a certificate with a QR code that will grant them access to the following events:

  • Nightclubs and “analogue venues”
  • Unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people
  • Unseated indoor events with more than 500 people
  • Any event with more than 10,000 people
  • Adult entertainment venues

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the hospitality industry will not be included under the programme, though that decision will continue to be under-review.

Scotland has followed the likes of Wales, who introduced a very similar mandate last week.

However, one glaring difference is that a negative lateral flow test result will not be a valid Covid pass for the people of Scotland, as officials fear it is too easy to fake and exploit.

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Anyone aged 16 or above can obtain a vaccine pass through the NHS Scotland Covid Status app, but is only compulsory to those 18 and over.

The new law was delayed by 18 days due to mass technological issues with the app, which was launched on September 30.

Many problems were reported across Apple and Android devices, as Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Jackie Baillie described the launch as a “shambles”.

The Scottish government has insisted that these issues have since been resolved.

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The grace period also allowed enough time for affected industries and businesses to prepare for this rule change, with many pointing out an issue regarding public awareness.

In response, Health Secretary Hamza Yousaf ensured that over 700,000 people have downloaded the app and well over 750,000 have a physical copy.