Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Covid certification scheme - information for customers

Guidance on how the Covid certification (or Covid passport) scheme works, who is exempt, and what you need to do if you are going to a venue or event.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Covid certification scheme - information for customers
How to prove exemption

How to prove exemption

Medical exemption

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated or tested medical reasons. Medical exemptions will allow those who cannot be either vaccinated or tested due to a health condition access to settings that would otherwise require certification.

Obtaining a medical exemption

There are some extremely limited circumstances where due to pre-existing severe medical conditions an individual may be incapable of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and also be incapable of being tested. If receiving the vaccine or its constituent parts has resulted in a severe life threatening reaction and if you also have medical grounds for being unable to take a test, you can be assessed for a medical exemption by a clinician.

If a clinician approves your medical exemption, you will be issued a certificate upon completion of the assessment process. The medical exemption certificate has a number of security features, such as thermochromatic ink. You cannot use the app at this time to show proof of this exemption. More information regarding this process can be found on the NHS Inform website.

Also see COVID Status Guidance: common questions.

Clinical trial participation

For the purposes of the certification scheme in Scotland, people in Scotland who have participated in clinical trials designed to test Covid vaccines are considered to be fully vaccinated. 

As trial vaccines were administered outwith the NHS Covid Vaccine process, instead of a vaccine certificate you have an official certificate from NHS Scotland confirming you have participated in a clinical trial in Scotland. This follows the same template as the Letter of Medical Exemption, so also contains the thermochromatic ink, and also has no QR code. 

If you participated in a trial and did not receive a certificate you can request one on the NHS inform website.

Clinical trial participants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be able to present a similar letter and these should also be accepted.

Age-based exemption (under 18s)

Most people under the age of 18 will not be expected to provide evidence of age.

Some people may look older than 18 and venues may ask for evidence of age.

Passports, driving licences and Young Scot National Entitlement cards are all acceptable forms of ID, as are any other officially-issued photographic IDs.


First published: 30 Sep 2021 Last updated: 14 Jan 2022 -