| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

Scotland to launch vaccine passports on 1 October

People in Scotland will require a proof they have been fully inoculated before they can enter nightclubs and many large events from October 1.

The vaccine passport plan was formally approved by Holyrood after the SNP and Greens voted in favour.

Some businesses have complained of a lack of detail about how the scheme will work in practice. The proposals were opposed by the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the system would reduce the risk of transmission and help prevent venues – many of which have only recently reopened – from having to close again due to Covid.

A paper published by the government on Thursday morning, just hours before the vote in the Scottish Parliament, said officials were still working to define what a nightclub actually is.

And it said evidence was still being gathered about the effectiveness of similar schemes elsewhere in the world.

People in England will need to have a “Covid pass” to access “higher risk” settings such as nightclubs from the end of this month.

There are no current plans to introduce a similar scheme in Wales or Northern Ireland.

The new rules will mean people over the age of 18 in Scotland will need to show they have had both doses of the vaccine before they are allowed entry to:

  • Nightclubs and 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

It means that many major sporting events – particularly football matches – will be affected, as will concerts and music festivals.

People who have had two vaccines in Scotland can already download or get a paper copy of a certificate with a QR code.

By the end of the month, it is expected that this code will also be available on a new NHS Scotland Status app.

These codes can be scanned at a venue to confirm the user is fully vaccinated.

Anyone who has good reasons for not getting fully vaccinated – including children and people with particular medical conditions – will be exempt.