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
Events where vaccine certificates are required

Events where vaccine certificates are required

The COVID vaccine certification scheme applies to the following events:

Event type

Criteria - number of attendees

Indoor events unseated

500 or more

Outdoor events unseated

4,000 or more

All events

10,000 or more

The above criteria is met if the event is planned with reference to those numbers (including multi-day events). 

For multi-day events, it is the number of planned people attending on any day that determines whether the criteria is met. 

For events which have multiple time slots on any given day, it is the number of planned people attending any given time slot that determines whether the criteria is met.

Whether vaccine certification is required or not depends on the number of planned attendees and not the capacity of the venue. Venues with a larger total capacity may choose to limit attendance to below the threshold required for certification. If the exact attendance is not known, the requirements apply if it is foreseeable that the planned attendance will be above the specified criteria.

Seated and unseated events

  • Seated event – all attendees at the event (excluding staff and volunteers working at the event) will be seated
  • Unseated event – there will be a mixture of unseated and seated attendees at the event or all attendees will be unseated at the event (excluding staff and volunteers working at the event)

Staff, contractors, performers or volunteers involved in the delivery of an event, and children under 5 years of age, are not to be included when counting the number of persons in attendance at a live event.

Events included in the scheme

Events where vaccine certificates may be required include the following (if above attendee threshold is met):

  • music festivals and concerts
  • events held at sports stadia such as football and rugby matches
  • any part of a business event such as a peripheral reception or function which is outside the main hours or the main purpose of the event should, if it meets the criteria, carry out certification. This is the case whether or not alcohol is served. For example, a drinks reception held at the end of a business conference would require certification if it met the attendee threshold, however a coffee break during the event would not require certification.  If an event organiser is uncertain as to whether certification would be required, we would ask that the event organiser works with venue operators and relevant Local Authority Officers to determine the likelihood of certification being required
  • trade events attended by members of the public for leisure purposes (for example, wedding fairs and craft fair).

Events not included in the scheme

Events not included in the scheme include:

  • communal religious worship
  • funerals, marriage ceremonies, civil partnership registrations, or a reception or gathering which relates to a funeral, marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration
  • mass participation events such as a marathon, triathlon or charity walk
  • events designated by the Scottish Ministers as a flagship event according to criteria, and in a list, published by the Scottish Ministers
  • cinema showings
  • drive-in events
  • organised pickets
  • public or street markets
  • illuminated trails
  • work or business conferences (not including any peripheral reception or function outside the main hours or purpose of the conference, whether or not alcohol is served)
  • business or trade events which are not open to the public for leisure purposes
  • un-ticketed events held at an outdoor public place with no fixed entry points

Example of applying the scheme to events

Example event

COVID vaccine certification requirements

A football match taking place at a football stadium which has sold 50,000 tickets.

Certification applies because the event will exceed the event attendee threshold.

A business conference at a hotel which has sold 1,000 tickets. The event is scheduled to take place 9 am – 5 pm.

Of the 1,000 tickets sold, 600 of those have been purchased to include entry to the drinks reception taking place at the end of the event at 6 pm.

Certification does not apply to the business element of this event but it does apply to any peripheral elements of the event which function outside the main hours or purpose of the event if the event criteria is met (whether or not alcohol is served)

The drinks reception is peripheral to the business element of the event and is expected to be attended by more than 500 attendees - certification would therefore apply.

A music festival taking place at an outdoor venue which can accommodate 5,000 attendees. The event organiser capped ticket sales at 3,000. The event organiser sells all 3,000 tickets.

Certification does not apply to this event as, although the venue has a maximum capacity of 5,000, the event organiser capped ticket sales at 3,000. This means the event attendance will be below the threshold for outdoor live events.

An un-ticketed event being held in an open space. The event will include a fireworks display. There are no fixed entry or exit points.

Certification does not apply to this event as it is un-ticketed, being held in an open space and there are no fixed entry or exit points.

An outdoor festival has a total attendance of 10,500 customers over three days of live music, However ticket sales each day are limited to 3,500 customers.

Certification  does not apply to this event as, although the total event attendance is over the threshold, the attendance each day would be below the threshold for outdoor live  events.

For multi-day events, it is the number of planned people attending on any day that determines whether the criteria is met.


Contact

Email: DLECONPSWT@gov.scot

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