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Vaccine passports enforced for nightclubs and events

Stramash nightclub

Clubbers and gig-goers will face checks

Nightclubs and big event venues will be required to enforce the Covid vaccine passport scheme from today as opposition continues to its effectiveness.

The grace period from 1 October, which allowed venues to test and trial the scheme without facing enforcement action, has now expired.

It means that higher risk venues and events affected must now verify customers are fully vaccinated, or otherwise exempt, before entry.

People attending a range of late night venues and larger indoor and outdoor live events, such as music festivals or large sporting events, will be required to show staff proof they are fully vaccinated or are otherwise exempt.


This can be done via the NHS Scotland Covid Status App on their mobile device or using the paper certificate.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The grace period allowed venues and businesses affected more than two weeks to test the scheme in practice and make suitable arrangements.

“It has also provided the Government with helpful feedback from the sectors affected and we continue to liaise with them going forward.

“This is a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

“This virus has not gone away and vaccine certification will have a role to play in keeping transmission under control as part of a wider package of measures. It adds a further layer of protection in certain higher risk settings.

“I also want to ensure that as many people get vaccinated as possible and particularly to increase uptake in the younger age cohort, so anything to incentivise that is helpful.”

Local council officers will be responsible for enforcement of the certification scheme which will apply to the person responsible for each premises. Officers will adopt an approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the responsible person before enforcement options are considered.

People in Scotland can download the NHS Scotland Covid Status App via their mobile device. A paper certificate or the downloadable PDF is also available from NHS Inform.

There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months.

Exemptions to the scheme include under 18s, participants in vaccine trials, as well as people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and people working or performing in the venues.

Proof of vaccination will be required to enter:
• late night venues open after midnight with alcohol and music and dancing
• 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

No personal data is stored on the NHS Scotland Covid Check app.

The Scottish Government has published updated guidance for businesses and event organisers covered by the scheme.

Scottish Labour continued to insist the scheme had been a “predictable disaster”.

Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “Weeks have passed and we have seen no change of plans despite concerns from the public, public health experts and businesses.

Jackie Baillie

Jackie Baillie: First Minister is making this up (pic: Terry Murden)

“This whole debacle has happened because the SNP are arrogant enough to believe they are right and Scotland is wrong.

“The First Minister is making this up as she goes along.

“If we want to control the virus we must look at proper resourcing of our test and protect system which has collapsed in recent weeks. 

“If we want to drive up vaccination we should be going door-to-door to convince those we know are hesitant and making it easier to just walk in for an appointment. 

“Instead the Government is doubling down on this mess.”

A new survey today says Britain’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a significant bounce in sales in September,.

The latest edition of the Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals that total sales were 8% up on the pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. They were 42% higher than in September 2020, when businesses were operating under strict COVID restrictions.

It marks a second successive month of year-on-year increases, with restaurants and pubs each recording total sales growth of 8%. For pubs, it was a notable improvement on growth of 3% in August 2021.

Bars were the best performing segment of all, following the easing of restrictions on the late-night sector in England in July.

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