Parliament passport vote ‘extremely disappointing’

Scottish Government will publish definition of what constitutes a nightclub for the purposes of the scheme


CONFIRMATION that Scotland’s vaccine certification scheme will go ahead has been described as “extremely disappointing”.

The introduction of the scheme was confirmed last night (9th September) when a vote in the Scottish Parliament resulted in 68 votes in favour versus 55 against.

The vaccination certification (or ‘passport’) scheme will now go live on 1st October, meaning any customers seeking entry to nightclubs, sexual entertainment venues or live events (unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with more than 4000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people) will have to present evidence of double vaccination.

Responding to the vote Leon Thompson, executive director of UK Hospitality Scotland, said although the result was expected, it was nevertheless “still extremely disappointing”.

“The Scottish Government has not listened and now our businesses face just three weeks in which to prepare for a policy that will put further economic and resourcing pressures on them,” said Thompson.

“The Scottish Government has not consulted with hospitality, it has not produced any credible plans for the introduction of passports and it has not even defined what a nightclub is. This leaves many businesses fearful that they will fall within scope of this legislation and concerned about the open-ended costs they might now face.”

That was echoed by Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, who questioned whether the passport scheme “is needed and is proportionate”.

“We fully support moves to reduce the rate and impact of transmission of coronavirus but these must be proportionate and directed to the sectors or settings responsible for spreading transmission the most,” said Wilkinson.
“The finer details of how this scheme will work should have been discussed with the hospitality industry prior to [the] debate and vote.”

The Scottish Government stated in a document published yesterday that it is in the process of finalising a definition of what constitutes a nightclub for the purposes of the scheme.

The document said the government is “working with stakeholders to finalise a definition that will ensure the intended public health benefit, but not result in market distortion or displacement”.