MINISTERS have apologised after Scotland's new vaccine passport app was plagued with technical problems and glitches. 

The NHS Scotland Covid Status app was made available to download on Apple and Android devices just 12 hours before the scheme launched at 5am today.

But within hours, complaints flooded social media from Scots struggling to access their details.

Frustrated users were told "something went wrong" or "no match found".

Scots will be asked for proof they have had two doses of the Covid vaccine to enter nightclubs and many other large events.

However, following consultation with businesses, a grace period has been agreed until October 18 before the scheme is legally enforced.

The Scottish Tories insisted the scheme should be delayed indefinitely to prevent a "weekend of chaos" as a result of problems with the app, which helps individuals prove their double-jabbed status. 

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “More than 70,000 downloaded the app yesterday.

"This huge demand did mean that some people experienced delays and we are sorry that happened.

"We have now increased the capacity of the NHS systems that sit behind the app – where most of the issues causing delays have occurred – in order to deal with demand and, as a result, we are seeing increasing numbers of people now able to access their records."

For those who continue to experience problems, the Government said an online portal which provides individuals with a PDF version of their certificate is still accessible via NHS Inform.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross called on the Government to guarantee compensation to anyone who misses an event or any business which loses income "solely because the SNP’s app does not work".

He said: “The SNP Government has just a few hours to act quickly and prevent a weekend of chaos at venues across Scotland.

“Thousands of people will be at the football and going out to hospitality premises this weekend. At an incredibly challenging time, businesses will lose out if this app is still not working.

“This plan should really be scrapped altogether but, if the SNP insist on charging ahead, they must indefinitely delay the vaccine passport scheme until the most basic issues are ironed out." 

Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the app's launch had been a "complete shambles".

She said: “I have already been contacted by several constituents complaining that the app crashed on them.

“It is typical of the SNP to rush this out when it clearly doesn’t work.

“This is embarrassing for the Scottish Government, they need to get a grip and fix the app urgently.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The launch was shambolic. Thousands of attempts to access Covid ID cards hit the buffers."

He said the Information Commissioner should intervene "to stop this scheme now".

The launch came on the same day the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland lost a legal bid to delay the rollout of vaccine passports.

Speaking about the app's launch, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Vaccine certificates have a role to play as part of a wider package of measures. They add a further layer of protection in certain higher risk settings.

"This is a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

"I would encourage people to download the NHS Scotland Covid Status app and help our drive to keep the virus under control."

Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, an infection expert at Edinburgh University, told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme the vaccine passport plan "may persuade some of the hesitant people" to get jabbed, although she also revealed she had been unable to get the new app to work.

Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Roddy Dunlop QC, described the app as the "worst I have ever tried to use".