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

This equality impact assessment (EQIA) is to analyse the potential impacts for each protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 of amending the definition of fully vaccinated to include the requirement for a booster if a primary course of MHRA vaccine was over 120 days ago and amend the definition of late night venue.


Higher-risk settings tend to have the following characteristics: close proximity with people from other households; settings where individuals stay for prolonged periods of time; high frequency of contacts; confined shared environments, and poor ventilation.[58] [59] These settings are considered higher risk due to the way COVID-19 spreads. COVID-19 spreads in small liquid particles when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, speaks, or breathes.[60] These droplets are able to remain suspended in the air. When people are close together or in a confined, unventilated space, it is more likely these droplets will enter another person, either through inhalation, the droplets coming into contact with their eyes, nose or mouth, or by touching an infected surface and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. [61] When people meet who do not regularly see each other or have a high frequency of contacts, it is more likely one of the individuals is asymptomatically infected through their separate social groups as the total number of extended contacts is greater. Examples of settings identified by SPI-B as high risk include public transport; places of worship, shops, malls and markets; parties; cinemas; theatres; planes; large family gatherings; cultural, sporting and political events; crowds; pubs and clubs; restaurants and cafes; hotels, cruise ships, hospitals and care homes.[62]

The Virus Watch Community Cohort Study found that during a period of no restrictions (September – November 2021), hospitality was associated with an increased risk indoors but not outdoors. Participating in sports indoors or outdoors was also associated with increased risk (although it was noted that this may relate to associated social activities). It was found that there was no good evidence of increased risk from attending cinemas, theatres, concerts, indoor sports events or for beauty services[63]. Evidence from Germany has found that regular cinema ventilation is sufficient to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection[64]. However, studies have shown that intoxication has the potential to increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to a decrease in compliance with increasing levels of intoxication, notably a reduction in physical distancing, lack of face masks when not seated and mixing with groups at other tables[65]. In addition, modelled research by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change reported that, if the NHS COVID pass had been made mandatory for crowded indoor and mass attendance settings (including sports matches, large outdoor events, indoor performances and nightclubs) in England after the lifting of restrictions on 19 July 2021, cases and deaths over the subsequent weeks could have been reduced by as much as 30%[66].

By restricting access to customers who are fully vaccinated and/or who can provide a record of a negative test, it is less likely that infection will take place in these settings, and it is less likely that infections within them will lead to illness. Additionally, vaccination, boosters and regular testing will continue to be incentivised.

Consequently, we can reduce the risk of transmission of the virus and help reduce pressure on health services, while also allowing settings to operate as an alternative to closure or more restrictive measures. As such, we consider the Covid Status Certification scheme, as part of a package of measures such as improved ventilation, to be a necessary and proportionate public health measure.



Back to top