Enforcement, sanctions and monitoring
The Regulations will set out that not putting in place a reasonable system to restrict entry only to those fully vaccinated (unless exempt), and the failure to prepare and maintain a compliance plan for the system and other measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, will be an offence for a person responsible for the premises. Local Authority regulators, like Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Trading Standards Officers, are responsible for enforcing the requirements of businesses. We will ensure in the Regulations that Local Authority (LA) officers have the powers that they will need to enforce this scheme in a proportionate and risk-based manner.
Businesses which meet the criteria for Certification as set out in the Regulations will be required to develop a plan that Local Authority regulators can request to see. In term of compliance monitoring and enforcement, this will be 'front loaded' through pre-event planning and LA officers inspecting plans at venues during the daytime in first instance. For larger events, and more high profile, high risk games, there are likely to be LA officers on site during the event. Intelligence received from Police Scotland and/or complaints by customers/ other traders will be investigated post-event where resourcing permits on a risk/triage basis. A summary of expected activity is as follows:
Pre-event/ night engagement
- SG to share communications that Local Authorities can send out via email to venues and any business as usual direct engagement. The targeted audience for that communication will reflect the premises included and activities affected.
- Local Authorities can also engage via event planning channels like Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs).
On the day
- Large events/large football games e.g. national team will usually justify Local Authority officer 'boots on ground', while other events would be on a targeted basis, determined through engagement with Police Scotland and resourcing by the Local Authority in question.
- Late night venues with alcohol, music and dancing, – some Local Authorities may have Local Authority officers on the ground on some weekends or nights but not routinely. Compliance checks would be planned on a targeted intelligence gathering basis, informed by repeated complaints on a venue.
- Local Authorities would investigate concerns reported and consider intelligence gathered and take action as necessary.
- Enforcement requires corroborated evidence to initiate formal action, which will be supported by targeted compliance checks based on intelligence.
The Local Authority Covid-19 Expert Officer Group has estimated the costs to Local Authority Regulatory service. Based on the assumption that there are 2,000 businesses and 500 events in scope, costs are estimated at £225,000 in the initial 6 months. Since capacity limits on live events will be repealed, the local authority resource currently used in relation to capacity limits could be re-directed to support implementation of Certification.
Police Scotland may have a role should there be any public disorder or serious criminal offences such as fraud associated with Certification. Effective stewarding and policing activity routinely operates to mitigate disorder and discourages fraudulent activity and the additional costs of certification are not expected to be significant. Any costs can be absorbed as part of Police Scotland's role in respect of live events and other settings in scope.