Correspondence regarding COP26 COVID testing protocol: FOI Review

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

Information requested

1. Any internal correspondence, handouts, reports, documents, memos which reference the COP26 testing protocol and the evidence of its efficacy between November 1 to date.

2. Any references to the COP26 testing protocol in discussions around the vaccine certification scheme from November 1 to date.


Further to my letter of 14 January 2022, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). As your previous request was received on 23 November 2021, I have limited the scope of my review for documents dated between 1 November to 23 November 2021.

I have been asked to look at your request afresh, to decide whether the original response should be confirmed, with or without modifications, as appropriate, or that a fresh decision should be substituted. I can confirm that I was not involved in the handling or decision-making around the original response.

I have examined the information held on our electronic information management system and, having done so, I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted.

My conclusion on reviewing your request of 23 November 2021 is that the original response incorrectly applied exemptions including Section 17(1) of FOISA indicating that information was not held by the Scottish Government. On reviewing, I have identified documents that I would consider in scope of your request and have included a response of this nature below.

Question 1:
I have included a copy of the following documents which are considered in scope of your request. Some of the information has been redacted as the information is not relating to the testing protocols or evidence of its efficacy and is therefore out with the scope of your request.

  • COP26 – Ministerial Submission – Covid Mitigations Outside the Blue Zone – 3 November 2021 (Annex A)
  • COP26 Ministerial Briefing Pack – Ministerial Brief – 12 November 2021 (Annex B)

The Scottish Government worked in partnership with Public Health Scotland and the UK Health Security Agency to plan COP26. You may wish to raise an FOI request with either of these department who may hold the information you are looking for. I have included further information on how to do this below:

Question 2:
I have included a copy of an email exchange which references the Green Zone and Covid Certification. This can be found in Annex C.

This email exchange refers to an Equality Impact Assessment that was completed prior to COP26. I have included a link to the EQIA below:

In addition, you may wish to view the COVID-19 Measures at COP26 Q&A. This Q&A provides information to delegates and references the certification scheme.

On reviewing the email exchanges, some exemptions have been applied in line with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

The exemptions applied in this instance were:

A small amount of information has been redacted from the documents disclosed under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA. This exemption applies because the information is personal data of a third party, i.e. names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202200269688 - Information Released - Annex A, B and C


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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