Covid vaccine passports to become compulsory at Scottish nightclubs

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith reports on the decision to introduce vaccine passports in Scotland

Scots will soon have to show Covid vaccine passports to get into nightclubs and large-scale live events, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Proof of two jabs will be required on entry to such venues later this month, subject to Scottish Parliament approval.

The Scottish first minister told MSPs that the country is now facing a "fragile and serious" situation following a record number of new Covid cases and a surge in patients being admitted to hospital with the virus.

Ms Sturgeon said a "limited use of vaccine certification" could help curb the spread of the virus during the crucial autumn and winter months when healthcare services are at their most stretched.

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Outlining the plans, the first minister said so-called Covid passports would be required on entry to nightclubs, indoor live events with more than 4,000 unseated attendees, and any events hosting more than 10,000 people.

She added that those who are double-jabbed will be able to request a QR code or a paper copy of their vaccination status from Friday.

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith explains where vaccine passports will be used in Scotland and why they have been introduced now

Ms Sturgeon warned: “For any decision of this nature to have an impact before winter, we would have to take and implement it quickly."

However, she said that the Scottish Government does not currently believe Covid passports are needed to gain entry to other hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants – but it is something they will keep under review.

She added: “The Scottish Government has made it clear that we do not believe that vaccination certification should ever be a requirement for any key services or in settings where people have no choice over attendance – for example, public transport, education, access to medical services or shops. We continue to hold to that position."

The measure would be introduced later this month if approved by MSPs in a vote at Holyrood next week, she said.

Nicola Sturgeon said that even though Covid passports would be introduced in nightclubs they would not be brought in at key settings. Credit: PA

Those who cannot get vaccinated, such as children and people with certain medical conditions, will be exempt from the rule, added Ms Sturgeon.

“However, we consider that to help protect individuals and the country as a whole, and reduce the risk of further restrictions being necessary, those over 18 years old who are eligible for vaccination should be required to show they have received both doses of the vaccine before entry to the premises and events I mentioned,” she told MSPs.

Despite earlier saying that a circuit-breaker lockdown is not "currently" on the cards, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs today that it would be "grossly irresponsible" to rule out reintroducing restrictions or another lockdown amid the rise in cases.

But she added that the government does not want to have to reimpose restrictions "even in a limited way", citing the "harm" they cause to businesses, education and wellbeing.