Scots will need vaccine passports for nightclubs and large events

Vaccine passports will be needed for entry to nightclubs and large-scale events in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The first minister told MSPs that the “limited use of vaccine certification” from later this month could help control the spread of COVID-19 through autumn and winter.

Numbers of new infections are 80% higher than last week and five times higher than four weeks ago, she said, describing the situation as “extremely concerning”.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

COVID-19: Scotland cases double in a week

Rising hospital admissions also make the situation “fragile and serious”, she added.

The new rules – if approved by parliament in a vote next week – will cover indoor live events with more than 500 unseated people, outdoor live events with more than 4,000 unseated, and any event with over 10,000 attendees.


Ms Sturgeon said that while activities covered by the scheme “matter to our economy, and to our cultural and social life”, they are “not essential services” and bring “many people together in relatively small areas”.

“By ensuring that people entering these settings are fully vaccinated, we would be taking a proportionate step to help make these settings safer for everyone attending and, by extension, for all of us,” she said.

More on Covid-19 COVID-19: People with severely weakened immune systems to be offered third coronavirus vaccine dose COVID-19: Wizz Air gives flight crews December deadline to get vaccinated COVID-19: UK records 35,693 new cases and 207 more coronavirus-related deaths, daily figures show COVID-19 treatment pill administered in new Pfizer clinical trial Paratroopers self-isolate on camp beds in sports hall after evacuating people from Afghanistan COVID-19: Venom from one of Brazil’s largest snakes could be used as a tool in the fight against coronavirus

Time was key, she added: “For any decision of this nature to have an impact before winter, we would have to take and implement it quickly.”

Vaccine passports are not being considered for the hospitality industry as a whole, and children and adults with certain medical conditions will be exempt.

From Friday, people in Scotland will be able to download a QR code showing their vaccine status.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

COVID-19: Booster jabs explained

Ms Sturgeon told parliament: “The Scottish government has made it clear that we do not believe that vaccination certification should ever be a requirement for any key services or in settings where people have no choice over attendance – for example, public transport, education, access to medical services or shops. We continue to hold to that position.”

In England, there are plans to bring in vaccine passports to enter nightclubs and other “crowded venues” from the end of September.