Information

COVID 19 cases linked to nightclubs, football matches & questions on vaccine passports: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

1. When including nightclubs as a location which would benefit from vaccine passports – please detail the number of cases which were forecasted to originate as a result of nightclubs? Please provide this for a specific time period – 12 months.

2. Scottish nightclubs were closed during the pandemic, reopening on 9 August 2021 – Please detail the number of Covid cases which have been traced to being transmitted within a nightclub from 9 August 2021 until the date in which you respond to this request?

3. Please detail the age profile of those people contracting Covid within a nightclub since 9 August 2021?

4. When considering the age profile of those people – Please include the actual number of people who have required hospitalisation within that age group since 9th August 2021 due to catching Covid within a nightclub setting?

5. Using your track & trace information – Of those that caught Covid in a nightclub setting since 9 August 2021 how many of their ‘close contacts’ went on to test positive for Covid?

6. Please detail the age profile of those close contacts?

7. Following the introduction of Covid passports – please detail the expected % reduction of Covid cases transmitted in a nightclub setting?

8. Please provide the evidence for which this forecast is based?

9. Scottish football recommenced on 31 July 2021 – Please detail the number of Covid cases which have been traced to being transmitted at a Scottish football match from 31 July 2021 until the date in which you respond to this request?

10. Please detail the age profile of those people contracting Covid at a Scottish football match since 31 July 2021?

11. Using your track & trace information – Of those that caught Covid at a Scottish football match setting since 31 July 2021 how many of their ‘close contacts’ went on to test positive for Covid?

12. Please detail the age profile of those close contacts?

13. Following the introduction of Covid passports – please detail the expected % reduction of Covid cases transmitted at an outdoor football match setting?

14. Please provide the evidence for which this forecast is based?

15. What impact has been anticipated on community transmission following the introduction of Covid passports? Please provide evidence for this.

16. What reduction is expected in hospitalisations with Covid symptoms as a result of the introduction of vaccine passports? Please provide the evidence for this.

17. How many lives have been forecasted to be ‘saved’ as a result of the introduction of Covid passports? Please provide evidence for this.

18. Which company is providing the technology to implement vaccine passports?

19. What is the end date of the contract that has been signed with this company?

20. What is the total value (up front and ongoing costs) of the contract with this company and how much has been paid to them to date (of your response)?

21. Does the contract with the company procured to provide vaccine passports in Scotland include provision for other services to be added at a later date? Please include detail on what those services might be?

22. Please detail the forecasted financial cost to businesses to implement vaccine passports? Please detail this per business type.

23. What would the proposed penalty be for a nightclub or football stadium that does not implement the required checks for access to their venue?

24. Do vaccine passports expire and what is the criteria for an expiry?

25. How are Scotland proposing to handle exemptions to receiving a vaccine – what actions must a member of the public take to prove their exemption?

26. How are businesses expected to handle exemptionsexemptions? Are they expected to demand proof of an exemption?

27. In your rollout plan for vaccine passports what other industries are being considered for the introduction of vaccine passports?

Response

1. When including nightclubs as a location which would benefit from vaccine passports – please detail the number of cases which were forecasted to originate as a result of nightclubs? Please provide this for a specific time period – 12 months.

A positive individual could have visited multiple settings before becoming infected, and it is not possible to determine at which they picked up the virus or model specific numbers of infections as a result. However, due to the nature of nightclubs as settings which involve close physical proximity and physical contact, singing, and other high-risk factors for spreading the virus, they remain high-risk settings.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

2. Scottish nightclubs were closed during the pandemic, reopening on 9 August 2021 – Please detail the number of Covid cases which have been traced to being transmitted within a nightclub from 9 August 2021 until the date in which you respond to this request?

It is not possible to determine at which specific setting an individual contracted Covid-19, as they can visit multiple settings in the period leading to infection and there is no way of being certain at which they were infected.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

3. Please detail the age profile of those people contracting Covid within a nightclub since 9 August 2021?

As Test and Protect is a confidential service and the Scottish Government does not have access to the personal information of those who access the service, we do not hold details on the age of any individual who has contracted Covid-19, alongside the previous caveats on identifying the location of infection.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

4. When considering the age profile of those people – Please include the actual number of people who have required hospitalisation within that age group since 9th August 2021 due to catching Covid within a nightclub setting?

Referring to the answer to question 3, this is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

5. Using your track & trace information – Of those that caught Covid in a nightclub setting since 9 August 2021 how many of their ‘close contacts’ went on to test positive for Covid?

Referring to the answer to question 3, this is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

6. Please detail the age profile of those close contacts?

Referring to the answer to question 3, this is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

7. Following the introduction of Covid passports – please detail the expected % reduction of Covid cases transmitted in a nightclub setting?

Referring to previous answers (question 1 and 2) on the difficulties of identifying where any given Covid case contracted the virus, it is not possible to forecast specific reductions in Covid-19 cases as a result of vaccination certification in nightclub settings.

SAGE papers have confirmed the effectiveness of introducing a vaccine certification scheme, alongside other measures such as self-isolation where required, adequate hygiene and ventilation measures. More information is available at the following publicly available SAGE document:

S1082_SAGE__79_Minutes.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

In addition, the Scottish Government published a paper (Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper) which summarised a range of evidence available on vaccination certification schemes. It adopts a four harms approach covering the direct harms of COVID-19, the indirect health harms, the social and economic harms. Evidence is drawn from clinical and scientific literature, from public opinion and from international experience. The methodology adopted is outlined in the Annex.

In this paper we reported that: “EMG/SPI-M/SPI-B have noted that certification based on vaccination status or prior infection would indirectly reduce the likelihood of an infected person being present as they would demonstrate some level of immunity. Certification to prove vaccination or prior infection can reduce the risk of severe illness but is not yet certain whether it will reduce transmission of infected people.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

8. Please provide the evidence for which this forecast is based?

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

9. Scottish football recommenced on 31 July 2021 – Please detail the number of Covid cases which have been traced to being transmitted at a Scottish football match from 31 July 2021 until the date in which you respond to this request?

Referring to the answer to question 1, it is not possible to determine how many Covid-19 cases were transmitted at any given setting, including a football match.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

10. Please detail the age profile of those people contracting Covid at a Scottish football match since 31 July 2021?

Referring to the answer to question 3, the Scottish Government does not have access to information on the age of individuals contacted by Test and Protect.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

11. Using your track & trace information – Of those that caught Covid at a Scottish football match setting since 31 July 2021 how many of their ‘close contacts’ went on to test positive for Covid?

Please refer to the answer to question 1 on the difficulty of identifying where specifically an individual caught Covid-19.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

12. Please detail the age profile of those close contacts?

Referring to the answer to question 3, this is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

13. Following the introduction of Covid passports – please detail the expected % reduction of Covid cases transmitted at an outdoor football match setting?

Referring to previous answers (question 1 and 2) on the difficulties of identifying where any given Covid case contracted the virus, it is not possible to forecast specific reductions in Covid-19 cases as a result of vaccination certification in nightclub settings.

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

14. Please provide the evidence for which this forecast is based?

This is a formal notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

15. What impact has been anticipated on community transmission following the introduction of Covid passports? Please provide evidence for this.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

The Scottish Government published a paper (Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper) which summarised a range of evidence available on vaccination certification schemes and the impact of the introduction of such schemes in various settings.

16. What reduction is expected in hospitalisations with Covid symptoms as a result of the introduction of vaccine passports? Please provide the evidence for this.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Certification of vaccination or prior infection can reduce the risk of severe illness. The evidence paper referred to in question 13 (Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper) includes a summary of vaccine effectiveness (see Table 1).

17. How many lives have been forecasted to be ‘saved’ as a result of the introduction of Covid passports? Please provide evidence for this.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

As described in Section 3 of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine certification: evidence paper, vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and so less likely to infect others, therefore vaccination prevents transmission at large events by reducing the likelihood of infected people being present.

There is limited evidence to date that vaccine certificates alone result in a reduction in transmission at events given the difficulties in linking specific cases to specific venues. However, by encouraging more people who attend higher risk venues to become vaccinated the transmission risk will be reduced. This is particularly important in the absence of other mitigations in such venues, for example physical distancing or the wearing of face coverings, which would be alternative ways of reducing transmission.

18. Which company is providing the technology to implement vaccine passports?

The technology currently used to implement the NHS Scotland COVID Status App is provided by Netcompany, while the technology for identity verification within the Status App is provided by Jumio. The NHS Sotland Covid Check App is an in-house development provided by NHS National Education for Scotland.

19. What is the end date of the contract that has been signed with this company?

For the NHS Scotland Covid Status App, the contract between National Services Scotland and Netcompany started on 17 May 2021 – this is a 12 month contract with an optional 12 month extension. The contract between National Services Scotland and Jumio is due to expire on 20 July 2022. Both contracts may be extended if necessary.

20. What is the total value (up front and ongoing costs) of the contract with this company and how much has been paid to them to date (of your response)?

Netcompany were awarded a contract that was initially up to the cost of £600,000. On 04 November 2021 the Deputy First Minister confirmed to the Covid-19 Recovery Committee that the contract was formally extended in October 2021 by up to an additional £600,000, making the total cost up to £1,200,000.

You can watch back the meeting of the committee by the following link: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/covid-19-recovery-committee-november-4-2021.

The contract with Jumio is based on the number of users of Jumio’s service. As this is an on-going service, this means we are not currently in a position to determine the cost of the Jumio contract.

21. Does the contract with the company procured to provide vaccine passports in Scotland include provision for other services to be added at a later date? Please include detail on what those services might be?

Under the existing contract, the NHS Scotland Covid Status App will continue to be improved and additional functions added, such as testing status and proof of recovery, in line with international standards. National Services Scotland are able to negotiate the provision of further services by either party as long as the negotiation and further services are acceptable under the NHS procurement framework through which both companies were tendered.

22. Please detail the forecasted financial cost to businesses to implement vaccine passports? Please detail this per business type.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. The Scottish Government has published the following impact assessment, Coronavirus (COVID-19) domestic vaccine certification: business and regulatory impact assessment, which considers the impacts for businesses, sectors, and consumers of the domestic Covid Vaccine Certification scheme.

23. What would the proposed penalty be for a nightclub or football stadium that does not implement the required checks for access to their venue?

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

The Scottish Government has published updated regulations which can be found here, which include penalties for breaches of these regulations.

24. Do vaccine passports expire and what is the criteria for an expiry?

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

In relation to the ‘vaccine passports’, also known as the ‘vaccine certification scheme’, The Scottish Government has released – Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) and Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) – which we have published alongside regulations.

The Scottish Government will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the policy. As the regulations have been laid under the Coronavirus Act 2020 there is a requirement to review the regulations every 21 days.

Any policy that engages human rights needs to meet the test of necessity and proportionality at any given time, and should be immediately removed if it is found to no longer meet that test.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021, which contain the Covid Vaccine Certificate provisions and the other Covid response measures may, subject to Parliamentary approval, expire on 24 September 2022. Parliamentary approval would be required to extend the Regulations further.

25. How are Scotland proposing to handle exemptions to receiving a vaccine – what actions must a member of the public take to prove their exemption?

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

The NHS inform website provides the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and information from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government. You can find Covid Status: Guidance common questions regarding exemptions, here.

26. How are businesses expected to handle exemptions? Are they expected to demand proof of an exemption?

Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccine certification scheme – information for businesses and event organisers published on 28 September 2021 provides a summary of how the vaccine certification scheme operates and venues, businesses and event organisers need to do.

27. In your rollout plan for vaccine passports what other industries are being considered for the introduction of vaccine passports?

Under Section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

The First Minister’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on 1 September 2021 set out why the Scottish Government considered Covid-19 status certification as a necessary and proportionate measure, as an alternative to the potential closure of high risk venues. Particularly as COVID-19 case numbers remain high and the winter period will pose significant challenges of increased transmission and related pressure on our health and care services. In her statement she also outlined the expected limitations to the scheme, at that point in time. The scheme is now in place and reflects the details in her statement. Covid-19 status certification regulations are reviewed every 3 weeks to ensure that they remain a proportionate response to the pandemic.

This statement can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement – 1 September 2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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