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
Premises where vaccine certificates are required

Premises where vaccine certificates are required

Late night premises with music, alcohol and dancing

The vaccine certification scheme applies to late night premises with music, alcohol and dancing between midnight and 5am.

A premises qualifies as a late night venue for the purpose of the vaccine certification scheme if it meets all of the following conditions:

  1. Alcohol is served at any time between midnight and 5am
  2. There is a dancefloor, or other space which is regularly used for dancing by customers, and
  3. Live or recorded music which customers normally dance to is played

Any premises which meets the conditions above is required to implement the vaccine certification scheme. This includes, for example, nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, hotels, social clubs and adult entertainment venues (this list is not exhaustive) if the premises meets the above conditions.

If a premises does not have a designated dancefloor but does create a designated space for customers to dance – for example, by moving furniture – and meets all of the other conditions above, the premises will be required to implement the vaccine certification scheme.

An operator of a late night premises described above must ensure there is a reasonable system to prevent any person, unless the person is permitted to be on the premises, from gaining entry or being present in the venue during the period between midnight and 5am. There must also be a reasonable system for removing any person not permitted to be on the premises.

Receptions or gatherings related to a marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration or a funeral are not settings that qualify as events for the purposes of the vaccine certification scheme. Late night premises being used exclusively for these events are also not required to implement the scheme. This does not include other life events (for example, birthdays).

Some settings and events may be exempt. See section: events

When certification starts in a late night premises

Vaccine certification will apply from midnight.

It is for each premises to determine what measures to put in place, and whether checking should begin from:

  • the time the premises opens, or
  • the time the premises opens its dancefloor and provides music for dancing

When considering what is appropriate for your premises, you should consider a range of factors including your hours of operation and nature of business, Scottish Government guidance and advice from Local Authority Officers.

Information Commission Office ( ICO ) has published introductory guidance to help venues look after customers’ personal data while carrying out vaccination status checks.

The legal requirement is that the person responsible for the premises must ensure that there is a reasonable system for checking any person on or seeking to enter the premises are permitted to be there under the Regulations, and for removing or refusing access to those who are not permitted.

A pub or restaurant that usually stays open past midnight, with music, alcohol and dancing, can choose whether to cease serving alcohol, stop the music or close the dancefloor/designated space for dancing after midnight, and operate without the need for certification. Where such steps are taken for the purpose of meeting the Regulations, this is not a licensing offence.

Examples of premises where vaccine certification would apply

Example scenario

Certification requirements

Venue 1 opens at 4 pm and closes at 3 am. It serves alcohol after midnight and has a dancefloor with a DJ from 10 pm until the venue closes at 3 am.

 

Venue 1 must ensure that only those who can provide proof they are fully vaccinated or exempt to be present after midnight as the venue meets all of the conditions of the scheme.

The venue will need to check that any customers who entered the venue after midnight have proof of vaccination or are exempt as well as anyone who entered the venue before midnight but who are still there after this time.

To help manage the operation of the scheme, the venue could choose to start asking for proof of vaccine status or exemption at the point the dance floor opens at 10 pm or any time before midnight. However, it will be for the venue to decide how to operate the scheme.

Venue 2 opens at 9 pm until 5 am. The venue serves alcohol after midnight and has a dancefloor which opens from 9 pm with music available until the venue closes.

 

Venue 2 must ensure that  only those who can provide proof they are fully vaccinated or exempt to be present after midnight as the venue meets all of the conditions of the scheme.

The venue will need to check that any customers who entered the venue after midnight have proof of vaccination or are exempt as well as anyone who entered the venue before midnight but who are still there after this time.

To help manage the operation of the scheme, the venue could choose to start asking for proof of vaccine status or exemption at the point they open at 9 pm. However, it will be for the venue to decide how to operate the scheme.

Venue 3 opens at 4 pm and ceases operations at 11 pm. Live music is available between the hours of 5 and 9 pm and the dancefloor is open during these hours.

COVID certification does not apply to this venue as it ceases operation before midnight so does not meet all of the conditions set out above.

If your premises opens before midnight, there are things that you can do to help ensure that those who entered before midnight are permitted to remain inside beyond this point to help maintain public order, including:

  • ensuring queuing systems are in place and managed
  • giving people different wristbands upon entry so your venue staff can see who has already provided proof they are vaccinated (without creating any system which would identify those who have an exemption)
  • making an announcement to pre-warn customers when vaccination certification will start in the premises and follow up with an announcement when this starts – this will allow customers to decide if they want to leave the premises or get their vaccine certificates ready to show staff
  • having some members of staff check that those in the premises at midnight have proof of vaccination or exemption
  • closing the premises to allow customers to re-enter once they have provided proof of vaccination or exemption
  • asking for proof of vaccination from the time the premises opens

Contact

Email: DLECONPSWT@gov.scot

First published: 28 Sep 2021 Last updated: 19 Oct 2021 -