Rule change

Scotland awaits as Stormont extends Covid passports

NHS vaccination certification

Tougher rules may be introduced

A tightening of the vaccine passport scheme in Scotland grew more likely after Northern Ireland voted to make certification compulsory for pubs, restaurants and night clubs from next month.

Stormont ministers agreed to bring in additional powers on 13 December. 

Covid passes have been required in Wales since Monday for entry to cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

Scotland will hear from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon next Tuesday if passports will be introduced for access to similar venues. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted introducing passports in England, though there is concern over the growing pressures on the NHS.

Speaking after the vote this evening, Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann said he was trying to avoid the need for restrictions this winter, including a full lockdown, and insisted ministers ‘have to act’.

He said: “Our Covid numbers are too high and we need to forcibly push them down. Our health and social care system is under severe stress.”

He wants the regulations needed for the law change come into effect on 29 November, with a 14-day grace period prior to becoming enforceable on 13 December. Non-compliant venues could face a £1,000 fine.

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