DOUGLAS Ross has said he has “significant reservations” about so-called Covid passports, warning they could lead to a discriminatory “two-tier system”.

The Scottish Tory leader said he hoped Covid status certificates, which would let people enter shops, pubs and other indoor spaces, would never be needed.

Boris Johnson this week confirmed they were being investigated for use from next month, while Nicola Sturgeon said they could be trialled north of the border.

But dozens of Tory MPs have signed a letter publicly opposing their use on civil liberties grounds and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have also urged caution.

Speaking to the media after calling for a quicker reopening of the Scottish hospitality sector, Mr Ross was asked if he thought vaccine passports were the best way to get the country moving or an illiberal imposition on people’s lives.

He said: “I think for international travel it will be determined by what other countries require of travellers from the United Kingdom. We will have to respond to that.

“In terms of domestic vaccine passports, I think there are still many questions that remain unanswered. 

“There will be those in society, particularly the younger, who have not had the opportunity to get a vaccine yet and are well down the list of the priorities for the vaccines, and there will be a small minority of people who for legitimate reasons don’t take up the vaccine.

“And I worry that we get into a two-tier system that does not allow fairness for everyone to come through this.

“As we see the restrictions start to ease off... I hope we don’t need to go down the route of formal passports for people to get back to life as they knew it before this pandemic hit.”

Asked if there would be a Commons vote on the issue, the Moray MP said: “The whips haven’t told us yet if there’s going to be a vote.

"It would obviously be determined on what we’re being asked to vote for - if it’s a vote for a trial, is it a vote for international passports, or is one for domestic passports.

"With all these things, I’ll look at the evidence.

“I’m willing to look at all the points put forward. But I do have significant reservations that I think are shared by many people across Scotland.”

Asked if he would back Covid passports to help the hospitality industry reopen, Mr Ross said: “Some may want them, others don’t. Some have suggested it will add in a lot of extra work, whether there will be issues with genuine Covid passports and forgeries.

“So some within the industry believe that as the most vulnerable in society get protected, and restrictions start to ease, is there a need to have domestic Covid passports.

“I think there are a number of questions that remain unanswered. 

“The trials may prove a lot of the concerns are unfounded.

“I’m not trying to sugarcoat this. I have reservations about the process, about how they would work and about a two-tier system that they may introduce.

“Hopefully, if we continue with the vaccine roll-out, continue to see restrictions lifted, they won’t be needed because we’ll be back to a form of normality sooner rather than later.”