Scottish First Minister confirms Covid passports won’t be extended to wider hospitality

The  Staff Canteen

First minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that Scotland's vaccine passport system will not be extended to more venues.

At current the plan only affects night clubs and large events and requires them to only allow access to those people who have proof of two doses of a Covid vaccine. From December 6th, this will also allow those with proof of a negative covid test to also be admitted into these venues.

There had been some consideration to expanding the scheme to include cinemas, theatres and other hospitality venues such as restaurants.

However, the first minister told MSPs that it would not be proportionate to do so, with case numbers having fallen slightly.

A decision one way or the other had been expected for a few weeks now. Ms Sturgeon having previously told MSPs that it could help "get through what will be a challenging winter without having to reintroduce restrictions on trade".

It was also starting to seem inevitable after the government posted an evidence paper that claimed there was a choice between either extending the vaccine passport system or closing down venues and limiting the number of people who could meet up.

This didn’t happen with ministers instead voting to keep the current system unchanged and do neither. This was decided after studying the latest data at a meeting of Ms Sturgeon's cabinet on Tuesday morning.

The first minister said, in her announcement, that while Scotland was still in a precarious position, with "significant and sustained" pressure on the NHS, the data was actually "more positive than we might have expected it to be".

The decision was made due to the fact that, according to Ms Sturgeon, the spread of the virus had stabilised, with the average number of new cases recorded falling by about 3% each day over the past week.

She also mentioned that the negative impact that vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses had led ministers to conclude that extending the scheme would not be proportionate.

She said, “We have taken account of the fact that, although our situation is precarious, cases are currently stable and, indeed, slightly declining and we have considered the inevitable impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses and concluded that, at this stage, extension would not be proportionate.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th November 2021

Scottish First Minister confirms Covid passports won’t be extended to wider hospitality