Vaccine passports will launch on 1 October in Scotland after Holyrood approves the scheme

People will need proof they have been fully vaccinated before they can enter nightclubs and many large events from 1 October after the vaccine passport plan was formally approved by Holyrood with both the SNP and Greens voting in its favour.


The proposals were opposed by the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats while the The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland Commission urged the first minister to rethink the plan, with some businesses also complaining about a lack of detail around how the scheme will work in practice.

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said, “Tonight’s result, whilst expected, is still extremely disappointing. The Scottish Government has not listened and now our businesses face just three weeks in which to prepare for a policy that will put further economic and resourcing pressures on them.

“The Scottish Government has not consulted with hospitality, it has not produced any credible plans for the introduction of passports and it has not even defined what a nightclub is. This leaves many businesses fearful that they will fall within scope of this legislation and concerned about the open-ended costs they might now face.”

“UKHospitality Scotland will continue to push for solutions to ensure the worst effects of this policy are mitigated, so our members can continue to work towards recovery.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the system would reduce the risk of transmission and help prevent venues from having to close again due to Covid and a paper published by the government this morning, a matter of hours before the vote in the Scottish Parliament, said officials were still working to define what a nightclub actually is. It also said evidence was still being gathered about the effectiveness of similar schemes elsewhere in the world.

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

People who have had two vaccines in Scotland can already download or get a paper copy of a certificate with a QR code, and it’s expected that this code will also be available on a new NHS Scotland Status app by the end of September.  The codes can be scanned at a venue to confirm the user is fully vaccinated.


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