NICOLA Sturgeon has outlined a definition of 'nightclubs' as she confirmed vaccine passports will be required in such venues from October 1.

The First Minister stressed a "pragmatic and sensible approach" will be taken to the new rules in Scotland.

It comes after hospitality leaders warned of confusion over what separates a nightclub from a bar or pub that opens late and plays music

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said vaccine certification will be required in nightclubs, live indoor unseated events of more than 500 people, live outdoor unseated events of more than 4,000 people, and any event of more than 10,000 people. 

The scheme will come into force at 5am on Friday, October 1.

The First Minister said: "We have been working in recent days to finalise the definition of nightclubs and similar settings.

"I can confirm that our intention is that certification will be required for any venue that meets all of the following conditions: it is open between midnight and 5am; it serves alcohol after midnight; it provides live or recorded music for dancing; and it has a designated space - which is actually in use - where dancing is permitted. 

"Let me stress that certification will be required only if all four of those factors apply.

"Detailed draft guidance will be published ahead of the regulations setting out clearly what each sector needs to do.

"A pragmatic and sensible approach will be taken to each piece of guidance. 

"In legal terms, venues will be required to take 'all reasonable measures' to implement the scheme – in plain terms, that boils down to using common sense.

"So, for example, a venue that has a dancefloor operating after midnight – and meets the other criteria - will have to operate the certification scheme.  

"They won’t need to check people coming in for a pub lunch twelve hours earlier - that wouldn’t be reasonable.

"But by the evening, it would be reasonable to check customers as they arrive.

"That’s what we mean by common sense. A pragmatic approach will be encouraged, so that businesses can make sensible judgements."

Ms Sturgeon said an NHS Covid status app will be available for downloading from September 30.

This will provide a digital record of a user’s vaccination status - including a QR code for each vaccination a person has received.

Scots can also request a paper copy of their vaccination record, "with specific features to prevent it from being forged". 

Ms Sturgeon said: "Once the scheme is launched, anyone going to a venue or event which requires certification will be required, if asked, to show their vaccine record.

"Venue staff will either scan or visually check your QR code. The NHS Scotland Covid Check app that venues can use is already available for download.

"At a venue such as a nightclub, or at a relatively small event, we expect that it will be possible to check vaccine certificates for everyone in attendance.

"However at larger events, organisers will be expected to carry out a reasonable number of checks.

"We are working with businesses and environmental health officers to provide specific advice and guidance on the level of checks that should be considered both reasonable and effective to fulfil the public health objective of certification."