Scottish Government could introduce vaccine passport spot checks rather than checking entire crowds

By Peter Davidson

Humza Yousaf has announced the Scottish Government is willing to introduce covid vaccine passport spot checks for those attending large scale events rather than everyone having to show their certification.

The Health Secretary said the government will engage with event organisers ahead of jab passports being introduced in Scotland next month on October 1.

It comes after concerns were raised about every person over 18 being checked at large scale events across the country which could lead to delays to matches or concerts.

MSPs voted in parliament last week to launch proof of double vaccination, however all opposition parties were against the plan.

People attending a nightclub or other adult entertainment venues will have to show their passport, while proof will also be needed for outdoor events of over 10,000, unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people and at unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said spot-checking could be introduced (Getty Images)

Asked if the government was willing to consider spot checks, Yousaf said: "Absolutely. In advance of the debate we published a paper for opposition but also for others to see what the broad outlines of our certification scheme would be.

"If you go to paragraph 23 of that paper. It says 'we will publish guidance to set out what reasonable measures would be proportionate in different settings (for example, what is proportion an entry to a nightclub of 200 people may not be proportionate or possible to an event crowd of 60,000)'.

"We acknowledge you're going to have to have probably different rules depending on that setting and you wouldn't want any adverse impacts for example, lots of people queuing and then potentially any crowd trouble that would follow on from there.

"We're happy to engage and will engage of course with the likes of the SPFL with event organisers and others.

"So there may well be proportionate measures, measure that can be taken at large scale events which would be different to smaller for example, nightclubs."

Yousaf's comments come after SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster cast doubts on vaccine certification for several large-scale football matches in Scotland.

He said: "I think it can work, but I think spot checking is frankly the only practical reality because if you are expecting football clubs to vaccine-passport-check 30,000 or 40,000 people in the minutes before kick-off, that's simply not going to happen.

"I don't think it's achievable, realistically."

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