NICOLA Sturgeon has suggested that vaccine passport trials could take place in Scotland – amid warnings from opponents the policy will “divide the country”.

Speculation south of the border suggests the UK Government are set to trial re-opening large events in England to crowds amid conflicting reports over when a vaccine passport scheme could be rolled out in the face of opposition.

Dozens of MPs have signed a letter publicly opposing the use of vaccine passports on civil liberties grounds and the Scottish Lib Dems have now urged caution over the idea.

The First Minister was asked about the prospect of vaccine passports being rolled out in Scotland in an interview with Bauer Media.

Ms Sturgeon has suggested the idea is under consideration, but warned unanswered questions remain.

She said: “As all of us desperately want to get back to normal, we should absolutely not close our minds to anything that might have a part to play in that.

READ MORE: More than 70 MPs sign pledge against Covid vaccine passports

“But there are still some big questions that have to be asked and answered if we are to satisfy ourselves that vaccine passports are part of the solution.

“For example, while all of the early data is really positive, we still don’t know for sure what the impact of the vaccination is on stopping transmission of the virus.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “There’s then big equity and ethical questions – not everybody can be vaccinated because of some health reasons, younger people at the moment are not currently in the vaccine programme – the vaccines are not currently authorised for younger people yet.

“We’ve got to be clear about the basis on which we are doing this and be able to answer some of those questions. I think that’s work that needs to be done properly and we are keen that we play our full part in doing it.”

When asked if she’s open to a trial taking place in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think that’s possible.

“We need to think through all of these things. There’s a lot of work going on – the Scottish Government is fully plugged into that work."

She added that “all of these things are possible but we’ve got to do it properly.”

The First Minister insisted that a cautious approach is needed as restrictions are eased, even with the vaccine rollout.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Chile, Israel, and the lockdown exit lessons for Scotland

She said: “We see right now across the world – France has just gone into another lockdown, so the virus is still there and it’s still dangerous.

“Chile is a country worth looking at right now which has made great progress in vaccination, but cases are soaring again, it’s health services are under great pressure and it’s having to re-impose restrictions.

“We’ve got to, in seeking to manage it and get ourselves back to normal, we’ve got to be careful.”

But Scottish Lib Dem leader, Willie Rennie has warned that rolling our vaccine passports could lead to "super ID cards by the back door" following First Minister's comments on being open to all possibilities including vaccine passports.

Mr Rennie added: “Vaccine passports will divide the country, effectively make vaccination compulsory and pave the way for a permanent ID card.

“The SNP have always been sympathetic to big brother ID cards and tried to introduce a super ID database incorporating information from 120 public bodies.

“Liberal Democrats oppose the use of vaccine passports for accessing public spaces, services and events.

“The best way to keep our country safe is suppress the community spread of the virus by vaccinating almost everyone.”

The UK Government is working on the development of a “Covid status certification” scheme, the so-called “vaccine passport” for use in England.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Vaccine passports explained

Ministers have said that it could involve the use of the NHS app, although they acknowledge there will have to be an option for paper certificates for those who do not have access to the digital option.

In developing the scheme, officials will take into account three factors, whether an individual has received the vaccine, has recently tested negative for the virus, or has “natural immunity” having tested positive in the previous six months.

Ministers believe the scheme will be most useful in managing the risks where the are large numbers of people in close proximity such as music festivals, sporting matches and nightclubs.

Settings where certification will not be required include essential shops and public transport.

It will also not apply initially to businesses which are set to reopen over the coming weeks such as pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail.

Officials are working with clinical and ethical experts to ensure there are “appropriate exemptions” for people who are advised to the vaccine and for whom repeat testing would be difficult.

Boris Johnson will set out more details for the scheme in England, on Monday.

He said: “We have made huge strides over the past few months with our vaccine programme and everyone in the country has made huge sacrifices to get us to this stage in our recovery from Covid-19.

“We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”