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The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 and The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2022: business and regulatory impact assessment

This business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) considers the impacts for businesses and consumers of amending the definition of fully vaccinated to include the requirement for a booster vaccination if a person’s primary course of MHRA vaccine was more than 120 days ago and amending the definition of late night venue.

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Digital Impact Test

Does the measure take account of changing digital technologies and markets?

Yes. How we aim to deliver Covid Status Certification takes into account that most businesses and customers use technology and prefer digital solutions that make processes easier. In advance of the launch of the scheme research into public attitudes carried out by YouGov for the Scottish Government, on 24-25 August 2021, (n=1,006 people in Scotland) highlighted attitudes towards the benefits and concerns of a Covid Status certification. Over half of respondents (55%) would download and use a mobile app to prove either vaccination or show a record of a negative test result, with just over one in five (23%) saying they would not use such an app. [106]

The public demonstrate a high awareness of the existing scheme and are generally supportive recognising the benefits it can bring. The overall support is 60%, with around a fifth (20%) opposing it. Opposition to the scheme is down from polling carried out in September, October and November. (YouGov, fieldwork: 14-15 Dec). Among those likely to visit such a venue, 28% are more likely to visit a venue that requires a vaccine certificate, whereas 22% are less likely to do so (14-15 Dec). 65% agree the scheme is a good thing if it helps prevent the return of other strict measures, 15% disagree (14-15 Dec). 52% agree the scheme should be rolled out to other types of events / venues, with 27% disagreeing (14-15 Dec)[107].

Consequently, without losing sight of the paper-based alternatives, we continue to actively promote the use of the digital package (the NHS Scotland Covid Status App and the NHS Scotland Covid Check App) as the most efficient method to operationalise Certification. The latest PHS report[108], published on Wednesday 19 January, showed that the Covid Status App has been downloaded over 2.4 million times up to midnight on 15 January (It is important to note a single user may choose to download the App on multiple devices, so this figure does not represent unique individuals. ) and we continue to monitor user activity. Up to midnight on 15 January, more than 1.7 million PDFs have been downloaded since QR codes were introduced on 3 Sept, with over 715,000 printed versions issued.

We continue to monitor user activity[109]. In the longer term, we see the NHS Scotland Covid Status App as both an opportunity and a stepping stone that will enable greater digital access to medical data more broadly for Scottish residents.

We continue to monitor user activity[109]. In the longer term, we see the NHS Scotland Covid Status App as both an opportunity and a stepping stone that will enable greater digital access to medical data more broadly for Scottish residents.

For those who do not have digital access or would prefer a paper copy, a record of vaccination can still be requested by phoning the Covid-19 Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565. The paper record of vaccination will then be posted to the address that is held on the National Vaccination Service System (NVSS).

Will the measure be applicable in a digital/online context?

No. Although Covid Status Certification will be delivered mainly through digital means, it can only apply in physical settings where there is a risk of transmission of the virus. Therefore, the policy will not apply in a digital context.

Is there a possibility the measures could be circumvented by digital/online transactions?

No. We do not envisage the policy being circumvented by digital transactions – large events on streaming or any experience of a late night venues with music, alcohol and dancing other than in-person are unlikely to be regarded as comparable substitutes. Therefore, there is no possibility to circumvent the policy digitally.

Alternatively, will the measure only be applicable in a digital context and therefore may have an adverse impact on traditional or offline businesses?

No. The policy will not be applicable at all in a digital context, so it will not have an adverse impact on traditional business. One of the aims of the policy is to reduce the risk of settings in specified being required to operate under more restrictive protections or closure, therefore, the policy is designed to help, rather than adversely impact, offline businesses.

If the measure can be applied in an offline and online environment will this in itself have any adverse impact on incumbent operators?

No. As explained, the policy will not be applied in an online environment. Therefore, we do not envisage any adverse impact on incumbent operators of nightclubs or large events.

Contact

Email: covid19-certificationhub@gov.scot

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