Vaccine certification enforcement gets underway
Proof of status needed at higher risk venues.
The Coronavirus vaccine certification scheme will become subject to enforcement from today meaning higher risk venues and events affected must verify customers are fully vaccinated, or otherwise exempt, before entry.
The grace period from the October 1st launch date, allowing venues to test and trial the scheme without facing enforcement action, has now expired.
People attending a range of late night venues and larger indoor and outdoor live events, such as music festivals or large sporting events, will be required to show staff proof they are fully vaccinated or are otherwise exempt. This can be done via the NHS Scotland Covid Status App on their mobile device or using the paper certificate.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“The grace period allowed venues and businesses affected more than two weeks to test the scheme in practice and make suitable arrangements. It has also provided the Government with helpful feedback from the sectors affected and we continue to liaise with them going forward.
“This is a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter. This virus has not gone away and vaccine certification will have a role to play in keeping transmission under control as part of a wider package of measures. It adds a further layer of protection in certain higher risk settings.
“I also want to ensure that as many people get vaccinated as possible and particularly to increase uptake in the younger age cohort, so anything to incentivise that is helpful.”
Local council officers will be responsible for enforcement of the certification scheme which will apply to the person responsible for each premises. Officers will adopt an approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the responsible person before enforcement options are considered.
People in Scotland can download the NHS Scotland Covid Status App via their mobile device. A paper certificate or the downloadable PDF is also available from NHS Inform.
There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months.
Exemptions to the scheme include under 18s, participants in vaccine trials, as well as people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and people working or performing in the venues.
Proof of vaccination will be required to enter:
• late night venues open after midnight with alcohol and music and dancing
• unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience
• unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience
• any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance
No personal data is stored on the NHS Scotland Covid Check app.
The Scottish Government has published updated guidance for businesses and event organisers covered by the scheme.