What is the Scottish vaccine passport scheme?

The Scottish vaccine passport scheme is Scotland’s new initiative to suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms. They will be introducing COVID-19 vaccine certification on October 1st.

This comes after the Scottish parliamentary debate and vote on September 9th. They determined that COVID-19 case numbers will remain high while the winter period ahead will pose significant challenges of increased transmission and pressure for the National Health Service.

The scheme is seen as an alternative to closing venues, instead allowing high-risk events to go ahead. Cases are surging but the measures will hopefully encourage younger people to take up the vaccine.

Which Scottish venues need to introduce the use of vaccine passports

  • nightclubs and analogous venues
  • sexual entertainment venues
  • live events: indoors unseated 500+ in the audience
  • live events: outdoors unseated 4,000+ in the audience
  • all events: 10,000+ in the audience

However there has been some complication as to a clear definition of what constitutes a nightclub. According to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government. A nightclub is a venue which meets all four of the following criteria:

  1. Open between midnight and 5pm
  2. Serves alcohol after midnight
  3. Provides live or recorded music for dancing
  4. Has a designated space which is actively in use

The BBC has argued that: Potentially, a 200-capacity nightclub could be asking for a vaccine passport while a pub next door, with a larger capacity and music playing into the early hours of the morning without dancing or a designated dance floor operating avoids having to ask customers for their vaccine status.

Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the rules would be applied “in a spirit of pragmatism,” however at NDML, we are sceptical as to the execution of the new rules. The guidance is rather unclear, and there are concerns this will affect businesses that are still recovering from the lockdowns.

According to government statistics, only 76% of 18-29 years olds in Scotland have had one jab. Removing more than a quarter of the customer base of nightclub is likely to have a devastating effect.

How to get a Scottish vaccine certificate

Scottish venues should begin informing their customer base of the new changes. All software apps and paper copies of certificates will be free to obtain and use. The information you provide should include:

  • To get a record of your vaccine status you can request a digital copy which can then be printed out. Log in to NHS Scotland using your unique username and password, this should be provided on your coronavirus vaccination appointment letter.
  • You can request a copy by phone by calling the COVID-19 Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565; open 10am – 6pm every day.
  • The NHS app, once signed in, should also be able to be used. This will provide you with a 2D QR code which can be scanned on the door.

For more information on COVID passports and up-to-date news on the matter affecting our industry, regularly check our social media feed and our industry news section.

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