NTIA in Scotland reacts to Covid passport 'shambles'

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Public discontent: NTIA criticises vaccine passport scheme
Public discontent: NTIA criticises vaccine passport scheme

Related tags Legislation Health and safety Social responsibility Public house Nightclub

Scottish consumers were left frustrated by the “chaos and confusion” of the Government’s vaccine passport rollout last Friday, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

The trade body claimed that most people experienced problems registering their vaccine status to the app. Furthermore, the public were confused about the scheme due to the lack of information given by the Scottish government.

Chairperson of NTIA and Sub Club director Mike Grieve said: “As anticipated, the rollout of this ill-conceived policy led to chaos and confusion in the street last night with only a handful of our customers in possession of a functioning passport. Around 50 to 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 (lateral flow tests) to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff. What a shambles.”

Details of the scheme

Vice chairperson of NTIA Scotland, Gavin Stevenson, said: “It is beyond belief that the Scottish government has continued with this flawed, discriminatory and unfair vaccine passport scheme against the advice of the affected sector and a majority of public health experts.

“Worse still, the rush to get it out to political deadlines has resulted in a completely botched launch that is destroying public trust in this government and creating anger and frustration on the streets outside venues.”

The passport scheme means people wishing to stay in most pubs, bars, function rooms or nightclubs after midnight must need proof of double vaccination.

This is checked by scanning a QR code on the NHS Covid Passport app, or by visually checking a printed copy of vaccine status.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government announced the rules would not be enforced until 18 October, so venues had time to test their systems.

Political response

The news comes as latest figures show 3,837,689 people have received two vaccinations, with 4,189,701 having had one.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated the scheme helps to drive vaccination rates up as high as possible and gave added Covid protection over winter.

Opposition parties criticised the rollout, with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross calling for the scheme to be ditched because it was not ready.

Tony Cochrane, director of Club Tropicana, said: “You only get one chance to launch anything and this one must be one of the greatest failures ever. Public confidence in this has gone.”

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