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

How the vaccine certification (or COVID passport) scheme will work, who is exempt, and what you need to do if you are going to a venue or event.

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

From 6 December, it will be possible to enter events and venues covered by the Covid Certification Scheme by showing a vaccine certificate or a recent negative test result. Read more on changes to the scheme.

This guidance is being updated to provide more information. 


The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 came into force at 5am on Friday 1 October. 

This guide explains what you need to do to prove vaccine status, guidance for businesses and event organisers is also available.

Vaccine certificates in Scotland

From 5am on 1 October, 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 be able to show they have been fully vaccinated (unless exempt) to gain entry.

Main points

  • from 5am on Friday 1 October, you will have to be prepared to show proof that you have been fully vaccinated (or are otherwise exempt) to get into certain late night premises and certain events which meet criteria set out in this guidance – this is known as the vaccine certification scheme
  • in settings where vaccine certification is required, venues and event organisers will need to ensure there is a reasonable and proportionate system for checking and restricting entry to only those who are permitted to be on the premises
  • the scheme will require a person seeking entry to regulated settings to show that they have been fully vaccinated with a UK approved vaccine (recognised by MHRA) and two weeks has passed for the vaccine to take effect
  • some people are exempt: under 18s, those not able to get the vaccine for medical reasons, taking part in vaccine trials and venue staff/volunteers
  • a negative COVID-19 test cannot be accepted as an alternative to a vaccine certificate
  • you can download the NHS Scotland Covid Status app or you can get a paper record of your vaccine status from NHS Inform
  • 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

First published: 30 Sep 2021 Last updated: 23 Nov 2021 -