A VACCINE passport scheme for nightclubs and large venues in Scotland is set to be brought into force from the beginning of October.

The Scottish Government said the scheme will require a person seeking entry to certain venues and settings to show that they have been fully vaccinated.

It said certification provides a "targeted and proportionate" means to reduce risk while helping to keep venues open.

The scheme is also expected to boost uptake, particularly among the young.

MSPs will vote on the plans today. 

The Tories, Liberal Democrats and Labour have all said they will oppose the scheme, however it is still likely to pass with support from the Greens, despite the party's leadership previously raising concerns.

The Greens recently entered into a power-sharing deal with the SNP.

Dozens of anti-vaccine protesters were outside the Scottish Parliament this morning with placards, whistles and bells. Chants included "no vaccine passports".

A new paper outlining the plans says under 18s will be exempted, although this is likely to be reduced to under 16s once the vaccine programme has been further rolled out.

Participants in vaccine trials, those unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons and employees at venues within the scope of the scheme will also be exempted.

The passports will apply to nightclubs, sexual entertainment venues, live unseated indoor events of 500 people or more, live outdoor unseated events with more than 4,000 in the audience and all events with more than 10,000 attending.

However, the Scottish Government is still working to finalise a definition of "nightclubs".

The new paper says: "We intend the scheme to be ready to go live on October 1, 2021. 

"This will give businesses time to prepare and more people to get vaccinated. 

"It will also mean the scheme being introduced at the same time as the permanent digital solution for vaccination certification."

It says Covid case numbers "remain high and the winter period ahead will pose significant challenges of increased transmission and related pressure on the NHS."

It adds: "Action is therefore needed across all sectors to ensure compliance with baseline Covid mitigations, and it is vital to consider further targeted and proportionate measures that can reduce risk further. Vaccine certification is one such measure."

The paper argues a vaccine passport scheme "will aid us in reducing the rate and impact of transmission".

It adds: "Research evidence indicates that being vaccinated reduces the risk that a person will become infected with the virus, and likely further reduces their risk of transmitting coronavirus

"Ensuring only those who are vaccinated attend higher risk venues and events therefore directly reduces the risk of transmission."

The new scheme will work through QR codes. 

From September 30, Scots will be able to access the NHS Scotland Covid Status app. 

This will include a person’s vaccination record in line with the requirements for international travel. The app screen shows a QR code for each vaccination.

Those unable to use the app will be able to request a "secure un-editable paper record of vaccination, with enhanced security features such as thermodynamic ink to prevent forgery". This will also have a QR code.