Nicola Sturgeon: Vaccine passports planned for entry to nightclubs in Scotland

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Nicola Sturgeon said the system will have to be brought in quickly before winter  (PA Wire)
Nicola Sturgeon said the system will have to be brought in quickly before winter (PA Wire)

The Scottish Government plans to introduce vaccine passports for entry to nightclubs and large public events.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the certification will be used for clubs as well as unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people in attendance.

It will also apply to unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 in the audience. Any event with more than 10,000 in attendance will also use vaccine passports.

The new system will be subject to a vote in the Scottish Parliament next week.

Ms Sturgeon updated MSPs on coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon and she said the vaccine passport system will have to be implemented “quickly” ahead of winter.

She said: “The Scottish Government has made it clear that we do not believe that vaccination certification should ever be a requirement for any key services or in settings where people have no choice over attendance – for example, public transport, education, access to medical services or shops.

“We continue to hold to that position. But we do consider that a limited use of vaccine certification could help to control the spread of the virus, as we head into the autumn and winter.”

She said the Scottish Government is not currently considering introducing vaccine certification for the hospitality industry as a whole, though this will be kept under review.

Children and people with certain medical conditions would be exempt, she said.

From Friday, people in Scotland will be able to download a QR code showing their vaccine certification.

The First Minister continued: “Many of the events and venues that are covered by the certification scheme are important – they matter to our economy, and to our cultural and social life.

“That’s why we want to enable them to stay open safely.

“But they are not essential services. And the nature of them, which involves bringing many people together in relatively small areas, does mean that despite their very best efforts, they can contribute significantly to the spread of the virus.

“By ensuring that people entering these settings are fully vaccinated, we would be taking a proportionate step to help make these settings safer for everyone attending and, by extension, for all of us.”

The First Minister also said the recent rise in cases in Scotland is “extremely concerning”.

She told MSPs the number of new cases is 80% higher than last week and five times higher than four weeks ago.

Ms Sturgeon said: “There is no doubt that this underlines the fact that the Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than previous strains.”

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