At The Scottish Parliament on Wednesday Scottish Conservatives hope to push for a debate and vote on the government’s so-called vaccine passport scheme which was passed on 9 September by MSPs and is due to come into effect on Friday.
The government plan is to introduce mandatory vaccination certification at late night venues with music, alcohol and dancing and at live events – those indoors with more than 500 people unseated and for outside all live events where there are more than 4,000 in the audience. Typically the requirements will affect pubs, night clubs, sporting and music venues which the government has assessed as high risk and it will be for each venue to decide what measures they need to take to comply.
In their State of the Epidemic Report published on 17 September the government explain that the winter is a period of concern when “action is needed across all sectors to ensure compliance with baseline Covid mitigations. Vaccine certification has a vital role to play as one such measure”.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We must do all we can to stem the rise in cases and vaccine certification will form part of a range measures which can help us to do this.
“It will only be used in certain higher risk settings and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.
“We do not want to re-impose any of the restrictions that have been in place for much of this year as we all know how much harm they have caused to businesses, to education and to people’s general well-being. But we must stem the rise in cases.”
Scottish Conservative Shadow Covid Recovery Secretary Murdo Fraser MSP, said: “The SNP’s vaccine passport scheme comes into force in just a few days but it’s a shambles.
“Businesses say this scheme is flawed. It will drive up their costs. It’s ripe for fraud. They will get no help to administer it.
“They’re still waiting for essential information and guidance because once again, the SNP has left it to the very last minute.
“The SNP’s poor planning has scuppered this scheme before it even begins.
“They have refused to debate the flaws, so we will use our own Parliamentary time to make them face scrutiny.
“The Greens used to have serious concerns about this scheme, before they were bought off by government positions. None of their concerns about vulnerable people have been fixed.
“This unworkable scheme must be scrapped before it damages businesses and costs Scottish jobs.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton warned that unless The Scottish Government ditch their controversial Covid ID scheme they risk discriminating against young, poor and ethnic minority Scots and driving night time businesses to the wall.
Judith Robertson, chairwoman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission told the Scottish Parliament’s Covid committee: “From our perspective, that case [for Covid ID cards] has not been made at the moment, or if it has it’s not in the public domain… That is one of the key aspects in relation to those human rights considerations, that the evidence upon which decisions are being made be placed into the public domain so that not only the basis on which decisions are being made is clear but that can be interrogated by a wider element of the population. There isn’t a clarity around what evidence has been used to base the decisions on.”