Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the country’s COVID-19 vaccine passport scheme will not be extended to more venues. 

It had been reported that the First Minister was considering expanding the system to cover other hospitality venues, cinemas and theatres. However, while there will not be an expansion of the vaccine passport scheme, Scottish residents will now be able to present a negative test rather than proof of two jabs to enter venues already covered by the system. This will be in place from December 6. 

This means that those looking to attend nightclubs and large events like football matches and concerts, which are part of the vaccine passport scheme, will be able to present a negative lateral flow test. 

Sturgeon said: “This change makes it possible for people who cannot be vaccinated, or who are not yet fully protected, to make use of the scheme. That will, I know, be welcomed. The new rule will also, we hope, encourage the greater use of regular lateral flow testing and it will still meet our aim of reducing the risk of transmission, within higher risk venues. 

“We encourage everyone to continue to test themselves regularly and particularly before you meet up with people from outside your household, whether you are meeting in your home or a public place. If you test positive stay home, isolate and take a PCR test. 

“Certification continues to have a role in helping us to increase vaccine uptake to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus, to alleviate pressure on our health and care services and to allow higher risk settings. Our NHS is still under pressure. We need to consider any proportionate measures we can take so that COVID case numbers start to fall, rather than levelling off.”

Music industry body LIVE chief executive Greg Parmley added: “The live music industry is pleased that the Scottish Government has announced that negative lateral flow tests will be included in the COVID certification programme in Scotland. 

“While there is still no evidence of the need for such a scheme, and we believe that industry measures to mitigate risk are sufficient, the inclusion of testing will result in a great number of people being able to access live music and provide vital income for the industry.” 

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