National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch has given further details regarding plans for a potential digital scheme that will show whether or not we have had the Covid vaccine.

Prof Leitch said there would have to be some form of certification, and stressed there would be alternatives for those without access to smart phones. 

He told BBC Scotland's programme Good Morning Scotland, that the term 'vaccine passports' was too "shorthand", saying "Covid certification" was a more appropriate description.

"Covid certification already exists", he explained, referencing the testing status required to enter the UK.

"You might add in vaccine, you might add in antibody testing, and then you may need some other stuff about where you live and who you are, where your health system is, and whether you've had the disease previously", he added.

"That Covid certification is something that will become something that the world needs, and the WHO is looking at that even as we speak."

Prof Leitch said the biggest problem with Covid vaccine certification was "equity". 

READ MORE: I've had both doses of the coronavirus vaccine — what now?


"What do you do for countries that haven't been able to vaccinate large numbers of people? It gets really complicated really quickly."

Prof Leitch acknowledged it would be challenging for those wanting to go on holiday if younger members of the family had not yet been vaccinated and were therefore not permitted to travel.

At the other end of the age spectrum, he reassured that elderly people would not be ruled out of the system.

He said: "We'll have to have solutions for everybody, like we've tried to do for other parts of the system.

"Clearly a digital solution will be very very useful to millions of people, so I would be very surprised if we didn't use that at some point in the future.

"But we'll have to have alternatives."

When asked about the possibility of holidays abroad over the summer, he said international leisure travel would be "challenging".

He said there have been high levels of cases recently in countries such as India, Estonia, Hungary and Bulgaria, and he warned “we’ve got to be careful, we don’t want to burst what we’ve achieved”.

He said he was "hopeful" that some leisure travel might exist, but warned it would be gradual and would not suddenly return to as it was.

It comes as travel curbs come into force after India was added to the UK's red list.

From this morning, travellers coming into Scotland from India are facing additional restrictions. 

Passengers on flights into the UK from India must now enter hotel quarantine as the country is officially added to the UK’s coronavirus travel red list.

As of 4am on Friday, people returning from India must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days, while anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.

Four airlines asked for a total of eight extra flights to arrive at Heathrow before the 4am cut-off; however, it is understood that Heathrow declined the airlines’ requests to ensure existing pressures at the border were not exacerbated.

The restrictions come in response to mounting concern about the number of Covid-19 cases in India and the emergence there of a variant of the virus.