Scottish Labour is refusing to throw its weight behind the Scottish government’s plans to introduce vaccine passports ahead of the debate at Holyrood on Thursday, while UKHospitality argue it will be ‘unworkable’ and cost ‘thousands’ of jobs.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar (pictured) told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show that Labour would vote against the plan.
He said,”This is not opposition for opposition’s sake. Neither is this an ideological opposition to the principle of vaccine passports. This is about what works, and what’s going to make a meaningful difference.
“We all agree the vaccine is working in helping to reduce hospitalisations and reduce deaths but there is a fear that using vaccine passports might actually entrench vaccine hesitancy rather than encourage uptake.”
If MSPs agree on the vaccine passport system, nightclubs and many large events will only be able to allow entry to people that can prove that they have had two jabs.
Said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, “A scheme introducing mandatory covid passports for certain venues and events will be unworkable, cause conflict between staff and customers and will force business to deal with complex equality rules.
“Operators may even be forced into a position where they have to let unvaccinated staff go, at a time when there are record levels of staff shortages across the industry. The hospitality sector has invested heavily to ensure customers are safe and we have proved venues are covid secure.
“Introducing a scheme such as this will be a hammer blow to businesses such as nightclubs that were closed by the government for almost 18 months, and have only recently been able to trade viably and make progress toward rebuilding and paying off accrued debts. Over the past year our sector has been devastated and businesses have only known forced closure or the most severe restrictions. This policy will be devastating for businesses that remain fragile and will certainly derail recovery and cost thousands of jobs.”