UK Administrations announce Covid Passport plans

The UK’s devolved administrations kept it simple last week by making differing choices on whether vaccine passports would be required for live events.

In England, Government rejected the idea.

In Scotland, Anyone over 18 seeking entry to certain venues and settings will be required to show that they have been fully vaccinated. Initially, the scheme will not permit a negative test result to be offered as an alternative to evidence of vaccination, but this will be kept under review. 

The Scottish Government intends for the scheme to be ready to go live on 1 October 2021 and it will be reviewed every three weeks in line with other Covid regulations.

The list of settings is as follows:

  • nightclubs and analogous venues . (The Scottish Government are working with stakeholders to finalise a definition
  • sexual entertainment venues
  • live events: indoors unseated 500+ in the audience
  • live events: outdoors unseated 4,000+ in the audience
  • all events: 10,000+ in the audience

For live events, ‘unseated’ includes events where some audience members are seated and some standing. ‘Attendees’ means is the number of people attending on any day or time slot. It does not include staff, contractors, performers or volunteers involved in the delivery of the event.

Exemptions will include under 18s (to be kept under review), participants in vaccine trials, people unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, employees at venues within scope of the scheme

 A QR enabled app is now available, it’s free to operators but the Scottish Government have stopped short of helping operators with additional staffing and admin costs. 

The overview suggests that the regulations should be drafted so as to impose a legal obligation on the person responsible for operating the business or venue to ‘take all reasonable measures’ to restrict entry only to those fully vaccinated, and the Scottish Government plans to publish guidance to set out what ‘reasonable measures’ would be proportionate in different settings (for example, what is proportionate on entry to a nightclub of 200 people may not be proportionate – or possible – in an event crowd of 60,000).

Meanwhile in Wales, The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Friday that people in Wales will need to show a pass proving they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or had a negative lateral flow test in the past 48 hours to attend clubs and large events, the new rule comes into effect from 11 October. People will be able to use an NHS Covid Pass to show if they have been fully vaccinated or received a negative test result.

 The list of settings is as follows::

  • Night clubs
  • indoor no-seating events with more than 500 people (including converts and conventions)
  • outdoor no-seating events with more than 4,000 people
  • and any event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

Other measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 will also be more strictly enforced, such as face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport.

The Welsh certification differs from the Scottish pass (due to come into effect from October 1) in that visitors to night club and large events do not have to be fully vaccinated to attend and can take a LFT to gain access to their pass.