Scottish Tories propose changes to vaccine passport plan
The Scottish Conservatives have urged the Scottish government to “fix the fundamental flaws” in the Covid vaccine passport scheme ahead of enforcement beginning next Monday.
The party has said revising the definition of nightclub to cover only venues open after 2am and introducing spot check systems for bars and nightclubs would help avoid the worst impacts of the plan.
The government’s scheme means staff at large events and venues will be required to check the vaccination status of customers before entry.
Only those who are double vaccinated will be given access, though there will be exemptions in place for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, under 18s and staff.
The scheme began at the start of the month, though the First Minister confirmed enforcement would not begin until 18 October to allow businesses time to prepare.
The Conservatives, who are against the introduction of any such system, have now called for it to be delayed until the new year to support economic recovery in the run-up to Christmas.
Finance and economy spokesperson Liz Smith said: “If the SNP refuse to scrap their vaccine passport scheme, then they must now fix the fundamental flaws that have come to the fore over the past two weeks.
“The launch of this scheme has been an unmitigated disaster. Businesses are no more ready to implement the SNP’s unworkable plans today than a fortnight ago.”
The rules will apply to nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues, unseated indoor events with audiences of over 500, unseated outdoor events with audiences over 4,000 and all events with an audience of over 10,000.
But business groups have warned about the impact this will have on recovery.
Speaking the day after Covid passports were meant to be used for the first time, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Kill said: “Businesses across Scotland felt the real weight of confusion and frustration from members of the public on the first trading session where operators were expected to implement Covid passports.
“This ill-conceived, unworkable mitigation which has been poorly communicated will only lead to further chaos and potentially irreversible damage to a sector which is still extremely fragile, and is fundamental to the recovery of Scotland’s economy.”