THE SCOTTISH Liberal Democrats and Tories have claimed that there is ‘no evidence’ that vaccine passports are working in the fight against Covid-19.

Vaccine passports were introduced in Scotland in October and have been needed by Scots to gain access to nightclubs and large events, however with Covid case numbers on the rise ministers have been discussing expanding the scheme to other hospitality venues which could take place just weeks before Christmas.

Speaking exclusively to The Brian Taylor Podcast, The Herald's flagship political broadcast, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, and the Scottish Conservative’s Covid Recovery Spokesman Murdo Fraser criticised the move, and compared the rates of the virus in Scotland to England.

Both parties agreed that negative lateral flow tests would be ‘an improvement’ and ‘more important in terms of infection control’ and

Speaking on the podcast Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “We have had Covid passports in place for a month, and they have had no tangible impact on infection rates.

“Whereas England, which don't have Covid ID cards in place, is seeing a sustained decrease in infection control.

“This is the SNP desperately trying to look like it knows what it's doing in terms of infection control. If ever there was proof that you needed that there are better alternatives to vaccine passports, then it can be found at COP26. 

“COP26 delegates were exempted from needing Covid ID cards, they presented a negative lateral flow test every day, or admission that is superior to Covid ID cards in two ways. 

Firstly, it confirms your COVID status on any given day, rather than your vaccine status. That's important, because then you can then discern who was sick and who is well rather than who is vaccinated, and who is not which is far more important in terms of infection control. 

“And secondly, and I think perhaps most importantly, and the lateral flow test just provides a snapshot of your health on any given day, it doesn't require anyone to do a deep dive into your medical records or to share parts of your medical record for somebody who is not your clinician.”

Scottish Conservatives Covid Recovery spokesman Murdo Fraser added: “I think bringing in lateral flow tests alongside vaccine passports as an alternative would be an improvement because it would remove at the very least the human rights aspect for people objecting to having to provide vaccine certification.

“But it's not perfect, because it would still present the problems for business, they still have to have people on the door checking entry. 

“I think there's a there's a risk in all of this that people adopt the ‘something must be done’ approach - We have a problem. Something must be done. We don't know whether it works or not.

“This is an issue which on the Covid recovery committee that we asked our scientific advisors, why is it that  in Scotland we are much more restrictive than south of the border. We have compulsory wearing face masks, we have vaccine passports, you don't have these in England, yet the case rates in England right now, are pretty much identical on the population chair compared to what we have in Scotland. 

“So there's not much evidence that says that having stricter controls in Scotland actually is making much difference.”

The comments follow Tuesday’s latest coronavirus update where the expansion of the vaccine passport scheme was discussed.

An announcement was expected on Tuesday on whether Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme would be expanded, however a final decision had not yet been made.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that ministers were still discussing the expansion of the scheme and an announcement would be made next week with any changes likely take effect from December 6.