THE SCOTTISH Government have today released a paper which contains ‘evidence’ intended on extending the vaccine certification scheme.

Vaccine passports came into force in Scotland on October 18, and they are required to enter certain events and venues across the country.

The paper reports on the operation of the current certification scheme, reviews the approaches adopted by other countries and examines the evidence behind expanding the scheme. It considers COVID transmission, public attitudes and the impact on the business community.

Detailed analysis of the 70-page evidence paper on extension of vaccine certification is yet to be carried out, but a section of the paper states how the government are considering implementing an expansion to the scheme.

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The expansion would see ‘cinemas, theatres, and some other licensed and hospitality premises’ fall under the scope of areas where vaccination proof is required.

The document states: “Expanding the coverage of the certification scheme would bring in additional settings within scope of certification.

“No formal announcement has been made of the scope of any expansion.

“Following on from the First Minister’s statement, this analysis considers the potential implications were expansion of certification to include the following settings:

• Indoor cinemas

• Theatres

• Concert Halls

• Hospitality venues, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, hotel bars and restaurants, and social clubs

• Cafes and restaurants in other settings, such as supermarkets, larger retail units, and other leisure settings.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “With cases rising gradually and pressures on our NHS, our approach is to keep people safe and get through a challenging winter without having to re-introduce any restrictions.

“This paper provides an update of the evidence of the vaccine certification scheme and focuses on the potential impact of a range of options for expanding it. Our vaccine certification scheme is working well, with venues and events affected continuing to operate and more than 1.5 million downloads of the NHS Covid status app so far.

 "We want businesses to remain open throughout the Christmas period, so it is sensible to consider options available to expand Covid certification. We will continue to consult with hospitality industry representatives and will set out our proposed approach next week.”

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 Currently vaccine passports are required to enter:

  • late night venues open after midnight with alcohol and music and dancing
  • unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience
  • unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience
  • any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance
  • no personal data is stored on the NHS Scotland Covid Check app