Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have voted in favour of implementing a COVID-19 passport scheme in Scotland to enter nightclubs and large events.

From October 1, Scottish residents will need to prove that they have been fully vaccinated in order to enter venues such as nightclubs, unseated indoor live events with more than 4,000 people, unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people in attendance and any event with a capacity of more than 10,000 people present. 

This relates to events like football matches, concerts and festivals. 

MSPs voted by 68 to 55 in favour of the vaccine certificate scheme. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney addressed Holyrood (Scottish Parliament) and said: “Despite the vaccine, we have seen over the last fortnight the number of weekly cases has increased from 26,167 to 44,198. 

“The number of people in hospital with COVID has increased from 391 to 883, and those in intensive care from 44 to 82.”

He added: “But despite these concerning levels of growth in cases and levels of hospitalisation, we all recognise, and I believe are committed to, the need to try all we can to protect the return to greater normality that we have experienced in recent weeks.” 

The Deputy First Minister also noted that around 84% of over-18s in Scotland were fully vaccinated. However, in order to protect the the National Health Service (NHS) further, it would be appropriate to introduce a “mandatory domestic vaccination certification scheme”. 

There was a focus on the simplicity of introducing such a scheme, with Swinney commenting that there were just a few steps in implementing COVID-19 passports. 

He said: “There are just a few steps involved. From September 30 people will be able to use the NHS Scotland COVID Status App which also has a QR code. Anyone unable to use the app can request a secure uneditable paper record of vaccination.” 

Staff at affected venues will then be able to easily check if the attendee has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Image: David Jackson on Unsplash