Publication - Advice and guidance

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
How to prove exemption

How to prove exemption

Medical exemption

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.  Medical exemptions will allow those who cannot be vaccinated due to a health condition access to settings that would otherwise require vaccination.

Obtaining a medical exemption

Clinicians have identified a very small number of people who cannot receive a complete course of vaccination and they will receive a secure paper exemption certificate in the post. Your certificate allows you to access settings throughout the UK in the same way as those who are fully vaccinated.

If you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you cannot use the app at this time to show proof of exemption.

For further information about exemptions please see COVID Status Guidance: common questions

Clinical trial participation

For the purposes of the certification scheme in Scotland, people in Scotland who have participated in clinical trials designed to test Covid vaccines are considered to be fully vaccinated. 

As trial vaccines were administered outwith the NHS Covid Vaccine process, instead of a vaccine certificate you have an official letter from NHS Scotland confirming you have participated in a clinical trial in Scotland. This follows the same template as the Letter of Medical Exemption, so also contains the thermochromatic ink, and also has no QR code. 

If you participated in a trial and did not receive a certificate you can request one at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status for clinical trial participants | The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine (nhsinform.scot).

Clinical trial participants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be able to present a similar letter and these should also be accepted.

Age-based exemption (under 18s)

Most people under the age of 18 will not be expected to provide evidence of age.

Some people may look older than 18 and venues may ask for evidence of age.

Passports, driving licences and YoungScot cards are all acceptable forms of ID, as are any other officially-issued photographic IDs.


First published: 30 Sep 2021 Last updated: 19 Oct 2021 -