Sturgeon sets out ‘nightclub’ criteria for certification scheme

Detailed guidance to be published ahead of scheme going live on 1st October

THE Scottish Government has moved to clarify which late-night venues will be affected by the upcoming COVID vaccination certificate scheme.

The government announced plans earlier this month for a certification scheme which will require visitors to nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and certain live events to present proof of double vaccination before they are allowed entry. The scheme was then confirmed by a vote in the Scottish Parliament. However, there has been uncertainty over what the Scottish Government considers a ‘nightclub’ for the purposes of the law.

Speaking in the parliament today (21st September) first minister Nicola Sturgeon said venues that fulfil four criteria will be required to ask for proof of vaccination. They are: venues that are open between midnight and five am; that serve alcohol after midnight; that provide live or recorded music for dancing; and that have a “designated space which is actually in use where dancing is permitted”.

Only venues where all four of these criteria apply will be required to check for certification. And those ‘hybrid’ venues that operate during the day as well as at night will only be required to check vaccination status at night, said the first minister.

“For example, a venue that has a dancefloor operating after midnight and meets the other criteria I’ve just outlined will have to operate the certification scheme,” said Sturgeon.

“However, they will not have to check customers coming in for a pub lunch twelve hours earlier. That clearly wouldn’t be reasonable. By the evening it would be reasonable to check customers as they arrive.”

Sturgeon said detailed guidance will be issued before the rules come into effect at 5am on 1st October.