The Scottish Parliament has approved the use of Coronavirus vaccination certificates to enter some events and higher risk venues.
MSPs voted in favour of the measure, which will come into effect on Friday October 1, aimed at reducing risk while maximising our ability to keep open certain settings and events where transmission is a higher risk and encouraging uptake of the vaccine.
Coronavirus vaccination certificates will be required to enter events such as nightclubs, music festivals and some football grounds.
Staff at venues affected will be able to download a “verifier app” to a smartphone or device from next week, ahead of the launch, which will allow digital checks on the certification status of those attending. Guidance will be provided for venues on how to use the app, along with options to integrate it into their own systems as the source code is open.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We must do all we can to stem the rise in cases and vaccine certification will form part of a range measures which can help us to do this.
“It will only be used in certain higher risk settings and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.
“We do not want to re-impose any of the restrictions that have been in place for much of this year as we all know how much harm they have caused to businesses, to education and to people’s general well-being. But we must stem the rise in cases.
“We want to ensure that as many people get vaccinated as possible and particularly to increase uptake in the younger age cohort, so anything that helps to incentivise that is helpful.
“I urge anyone over 16 to get vaccinated at their local drop-in clinic or through NHS Inform.
“Public behaviour, including key protective measures like face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing and isolating when necessary, continues to play a vital role in reducing the prevalence of the virus and helping us to emerge from the pandemic.”
The new scheme is not being introduced until all Scottish adults have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine and two weeks have passed to allow the vaccine take effect. The Scottish Government continues to work with sectors affected to ensure that a workable and proportionate scheme is developed.
Under 18s and adults who are ineligible for vaccination will be exempt.
There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months.
From September 30, people will be able to use the NHS Scotland Covid Status App which also has a QR code, to access venues where certification is required. From this date the current downloadable PDF function will be switched off.
Anyone unable or unwilling to use the App can request a secure uneditable paper record of vaccination, with enhanced security features such as thermodynamic ink to prevent forgery.
The verifier app will be called ‘NHS Scotland Covid Check’.
Proof of vaccination will be required to enter:
- adult entertainment venues
- 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