The NTIA’s repeated warnings to the Scottish Government that the vaccine passport plan was unworkable was borne out at the weekend when the venues across Scotland had to start checking the status of everyone who would be on the premises of most pubs, bars, function rooms and nightclubs after midnight.
Customers had problems downloading the app, didn’t understand what they needed to do and there is evidence, possibly due to confusion caused by poor communication to the public, that older customers stayed home, according to the NTIA.
Mike Grieve, Chairperson NTIA Scotland & Sub Club Director, said, “As anticipated, the rollout of this ill-conceived policy led to chaos and confusion in the street with only a handful of our customers in possession of a functioning app passport. Around 50-60 others had a photocopy or screenshot of the wrong vaccination information or other spurious evidence of vaccination.
Despite this, we successfully checked all attendees for same-day LFTs to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff. What a shambles!”
A view shared by Donald Macleod, MD Holdfast Entertainment / CPL, who said, “Sadly and predictably last night’s front door trailing of the Scottish Governments new Covid Certification App proved to be problematic and highly confusing, with the vast majority of punters unable to access the APP or show the required proof. This is a shambles which if allowed to continue will have a devastating effect on the very fragile night-time economy.”
While Michael Kill, CEO NTIA UK, concluded, “Businesses across Scotland felt the real weight of confusion and frustration from members of the public on the first trading session where operators were expected to implement Covid passports, this ill-conceived, unworkable mitigation which has been poorly communicated will only lead to further chaos and potentially irreversible damage to a sector which is still extremely fragile and is fundamental to the recovery of Scotland’s economy.”
However, this morning on BBC Radio Scotland John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, said that the app was working. “The app was launched on Thursday and in the early hours it was slow because of demand on the system.” He said that 280,000 QR codes had been downloaded by 4pm yesterday which showed that the system was functioning well. He went on to say that anyone with problems that they couldn’t resolve could fall back on the paper copy of the QR code which would be sent to them.