Scottish Covid-19 certification proposals announced

Covid-19 vaccination certificates will be required to enter certain events and higher risk venues in Scotland, such as nightclubs, music festivals and some football grounds if Parliament backs the move in a vote planned for next week.

The Scottish Parliament will be asked to vote on the introduction of the certification scheme which will only be implemented once all adults have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine.

If the scheme is approved by parliament, it will then be subject to parliamentary review every three weeks, in line with previous Covid-19 measures.

The addition of 2D Barcodes (also known as QR Codes) to Scotland’s certification process adheres to EU standards.  They have been successfully tested with a number of European nations, and provide additional security features that help ensure the validity of the certificate.

Children and adults that are ineligible for vaccination will be exempt.

Proof of vaccination will be required later this month to enter the following:

  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
  • 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.
  • Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

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

From Friday 3rd September, people will be able to download a PDF copy of their vaccination certificate, with a personalised QR code, to print off instantly or store on their mobile phone for use domestically or internationally. This is in addition to the existing paper letters that can be requested from NHS Inform and the Covid Helpline.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We do not want to reimpose any of the restrictions that have been in place for much of this year as we all know how much harm they have caused to businesses, to education and to people’s general wellbeing but we must stem the rise in cases.

“In addition to measures such as free testing and the installation of CO2 monitors in schools, we believe that a limited use of vaccine certification in certain higher risk settings, could help us to keep businesses open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

“They will be for use in very limited settings and never for public services such as transport, hospitals and education. This is a significant step forward and not a decision we have taken lightly but it is in line with certification in other European countries.

“The original protective measures such as wearing a face covering, physical distancing, hand washing and isolating when necessary are still key to reducing prevalence of the virus but getting vaccinated remains the single most important step that any of us can take to keep ourselves and others safe.

“Ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated remains a key priority and the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to improve on the already high up take of the vaccine. We continue to urge anyone aged 16 and over to get vaccinated, please find your local drop-in clinic by visiting NHS Inform.”

Elements of this story have been shared under the Open Government license.

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