Calls made to scrap Scottish vaccine passport

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Delay confirmed: the Scottish government is being criticised for the plans (Credit: Getty Images / John M Lund Photography Inc)
Delay confirmed: the Scottish government is being criticised for the plans (Credit: Getty Images / John M Lund Photography Inc)

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The Scottish Government is “not ready” to introduce its vaccine passport scheme because there are no published regulations or guidance, UKHospitality has said.

The news comes as the Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed enforcement of the rules would be delayed for two weeks to give premises a chance to prepare for the new rules. 

The Scottish government’s plans to enforce vaccine passports in nightclubs have already been lambasted by sector bodies​ about a lack of detail about how they will be implemented.

Legal obligation

“I can, therefore, confirm that after the legal obligation comes into force at 5am on Friday this week, we intend to allow a further period of slightly more than two weeks until 18 October, before any business could face enforcement action for non-compliance,” said Sturgeon. 

“This period, effectively a grace period, will allow businesses to test, adapt and build confidence in the practical arrangements they will need to put in place to be compliant with the scheme.”

However, UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said that it welcomed the news of the delay in enforcement. 

Working in the dark

“However, the reality is the Scottish Government is not ready to introduce this scheme. With no published regulations or guidance, businesses are working in the dark with little chance of being ready for Friday. Similarly, there has been no public campaign to advise people on what they need to do, with the app for downloading certification only available from this Thursday,” said Thompson. 

“The delay in enforcement doesn’t remove the difficulties that many businesses will face later when staffing shortages will remain. Many businesses are already planning to remove themselves from scope. For example, pubs planning to close function rooms at midnight to avoid the need to check passports. This reduces their ability to trade at full capacity now when they need to generate maximum revenue and undermines financial prospects as we head closer to Christmas.” 

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