This guidance is for those businesses and events that the COVID Vaccine Certification Scheme applies to, and provides advice on how the scheme operates and the steps that should be taken to implement certification checks.
This is guidance based on changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 1 October.
If you require information about the scheme as a member of the public, please visit our vaccine certification scheme guidance for customers. Download the NHS Scotland Covid Status app or get a paper record of your vaccine status from NHS Inform.
The customer covid check (verifier) app is being updated on 21 October. Businesses and venues covered by the scheme should download the update from this date to ensure you have the latest version. Read more.
Vaccine certificates in Scotland
COVID vaccine certificates are needed to get into the following higher risk settings in Scotland:
- late night premises with music, which serve alcohol at any time between midnight and 5am and have a designated place for dancing for customers
- indoor events (unseated) with 500 or more people
- outdoor events (unseated) with 4,000 or more people
- any event with more than 10,000 people
Everyone attending these settings and events must show they have been fully vaccinated (unless exempt) to gain entry, unless they are:
- under 18
- not able to get the vaccine for medical reasons
- participants in vaccine trials (either current or past participants)
- the person responsible for the premises
- workers or volunteers at the venue or event
- emergency services responders and regulators carrying out their work
This guidance explains how the scheme works and provides guidance on what premises and event organisers need to do to operate a reasonable system for checking that individuals on their premises are fully vaccinated or exempt. Separate guidance has been published for the public, customers and event attendees, and there will be an accompanying marketing campaign to help raise awareness.
This guidance applies to late night premises and relevant events in Scotland only. There is separate travel guidance on the gov.uk website if you are travelling to countries where COVID-19 vaccine status is an entry requirement.
- from 5am on 1 October, under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 ('the Regulations'), people have to be prepared to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated (or are otherwise exempt) to get into certain late night premises and certain events – this is known as the vaccine certification scheme
- in settings where vaccine certification is required, premises and event organisers need to ensure there is a reasonable system for checking and restricting entry to only those who are permitted to be on the premises
- businesses and event organisers need to have a compliance plan - this should describe the system for checking and restricting entry that will operate for your premises and any other measures that are or will be in place to prevent or minimise the risk of COVID-19 being spread
- the free NHS Scotland Covid Check app is for businesses and event organisers to download to a smartphone or other suitable device to verify vaccine certificates
- people under 18, not able to get the vaccine for medical reasons, taking part in vaccine trials, venue staff or volunteers and emergency responders and regulators carrying out their work are exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated to be on the premises
- certification provides a targeted and proportionate means to reduce risk while maximising our ability to keep open certain premises and events where transmission is a higher risk
- the need to be vaccinated is also expected to encourage the remaining sections of the eligible population to be vaccinated
- the scheme will be reviewed at regular intervals in line with the current process for reviewing COVID Regulations every three weeks