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by Jack Thomson
19 May 2021
Vaccine certificates made available for people travelling abroad

Only those going to a destination where certification is needed for entry should download or request it (Press Association)

Vaccine certificates made available for people travelling abroad

People in Scotland who are travelling abroad will now be able to access a record of their vaccination status.

The Scottish Government says only those going to a destination where certification is needed for entry should download or request it.

The letter can be accessed from an NHS portal or, for those who are not online, requested in the post via a COVID status helpine.

There are no countries which currently require vaccination status to travel, but the government has warned international travel restrictions can change quickly.

The measure is intended to ease the burden on the NHS by removing the need for people to ask their GP for a status record.

As Scotland’s jab programme progresses, vaccination status will be replaced by digital Covid Status Certificates, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel.

Dr Gregor Smith, the chief medical officer, said: "Given the risk of returning with infection, and especially of introducing new variants of the virus, we continue to be highly cautious about international travel.

"Everyone should continue to limit their travel abroad and while I understand the need for some people who want to reunite with family, when it comes to holidays, my advice continues to be play it safe and staycation this summer.

"For those that do need it, this new service will provide people with a record of their vaccination status for outbound international travel.

"They should only access their record if they are planning to travel within 21 days and it is a requirement of their destination."

The scheme has been welcomed by Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour's deputy leader and health spokeswoman.

She said: "It is important that Scottish ministers continue to urge caution around foreign travel whilst we are in the midst of the pandemic.

"Every effort must be made to ensure that everyone eligible for a vaccine certificate is helped to secure one.

"The Scottish Government should also make it clear that the vaccine certificate is for foreign travel only, and that they are not needed for domestic travel across Britain."

Read the most recent article written by Jack Thomson - First Minister: It’s 'unlikely' COVID restrictions will ease further at end of June

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