Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine certification scheme - information for businesses and event organisers

How the vaccine certification (or COVID passport) scheme operates and what venues, businesses and event organisers need to do.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine certification scheme - information for businesses and event organisers
Business support

Business support

All software, apps and paper copies of certificates are free to use. Businesses will be able to use the NHS Scotland Covid Check App, available via

It is not currently anticipated that additional funding will be made available. The scheme is designed to allow businesses to stay open and function as near normal as possible.

You can use the COVID Check App free of charge to scan the codes used on vaccine certificates. You will need a hardware mechanism (such as mobile phone) to verify the certificates. Businesses will meet any additional staffing or infrastructure costs.


The scheme will be subject to parliamentary review every three weeks, as part of the review of Coronavirus Regulations. Any proposed changes to the scheme would be brought back to the Scottish Parliament for a decision.


This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that, as a business or an employer, you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics.

Data protection

Businesses and event organisers who use the COVID Check app are data controllers under Data Protection legislation. Guidance will be published which explains what this means for you.

As a business or event organiser operating the scheme, you will need to:

The NHS Scotland COVID Check app does not retain people’s personal data. There should be no valid reason for venues to keep any data that is displayed on the COVID vaccination certificate. Further guidance is available regarding the COVID Check app privacy policy.

The Regulations require operators of late night premises and organisers of relevant events to treat information that can be used to determine the vaccination or medical status of a person, or whether a person is participating in, or has participated in, the trial of a vaccine against coronavirus as confidential.


There has been no change to the Scottish Government’s policy on COVID vaccination which remains voluntary. This means that employers should not use COVID vaccination or COVID certification as a condition of employment. Employers should also continue to adhere to their obligations under the Equality Act and should not discriminate against employees based on the medical status.



First published: 28 Sep 2021 Last updated: 12 Oct 2021 -