Scotland vaccine passport hit by problems hours after launch

·3-min read
A bar in Edinburgh city centre (PA)
A bar in Edinburgh city centre (PA)

Scotland’s new vaccine passport app has been experiencing technical problems just hours after its launch, according to users.

The NHS Scotland Covid Status app was made available to download on Apple and Android devices on Thursday afternoon.

One man was told “no match found” followed by “something’s went wrong” as shown in screenshots he shared on Twitter.

Some struggled to get past the initial log in page while others reported taking eight attempts to sign up.

From 5am on October 1, revellers attending nightclubs and large events must show proof that they have been fully vaccinated via the app.

But just hours after its launch, comments circulating on social media suggest many users have been unable to register on the app.

The Scottish government said the large volume of people accessing the app at once could be a reason behind the glitch.

Another Twitter user posted: “Didn’t matter if I had my NHS number or not, ‘no match found’ is all I get.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney (PA)
Deputy First Minister John Swinney (PA)

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Some people may be experiencing issues which are likely to be caused by extremely high initial traffic and a large number of users trying to access the app at once.

“We advise people whose data is not found to try again a couple of hours later.”

Speaking before its launch, Nicola Sturgeon insisted vaccine passports will “make a difference” reducing the spread of coronavirus but hopes they will not be required for long.

The rollout came on the same day the Night Time Industries Association Scotland lost a legal bid to delay the move.

Following consultation with businesses affected, ministers confirmed a grace period has been agreed until October 18 before the scheme is legally enforced.

The legal requirement for businesses to keep information about certification status confidential and not use it for other purposes comes into effect on Friday.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney encouraged people to download the app and help “keep the virus under control” to reduce pressure on the NHS.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Swinney pointed to other certification schemes already in place across Europe including in Ireland, France, and soon to be Wales.

He added: “I also 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.”

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, according to the Scottish government.

Exemptions to the scheme include under 18s, participants in vaccine trials, as well as people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and people working or performing in the venues.

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