We will make decisions that are right for Scotland, as we have done throughout this pandemic. The COVID-Status Certification Review concluded that there would be a public health benefit from certification. Given that the winter period ahead will pose significant challenges of increased transmission and related pressure on the National Health Service, vaccine certification has a vital role to play as part of the package of measures to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.
We believe vaccine certification is an essential and proportionate measure which can help us to reduce transmission risks, reduce the risk of serious illness and death and in doing so alleviate pressure on the healthcare system, and to encourage uptake of the vaccine. We are putting in place a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow higher risk settings to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter. Certification is in use in many countries, often with a much wider scope than planned in Scotland.
The COVID-19 domestic certification scheme will commence at 5:00 am on 1 October 2021. Businesses will have until 18 October before the requirements are enforced.
Individuals over 18 years will require certification in the following higher risk settings:
- late night venues with music, alcohol and dancing
- live events: indoors unseated 500+ in the audience
- live events: outdoors unseated 4,000+ in the audience
- all live events: 10,000+ in the audience
Some exemptions will apply, such as for participants on COVID-19 vaccine trials and for the very small number of people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, such as those with a severe allergy to all JCVI recommended Covid-19 vaccines or those who are receiving end of life care where vaccination is not in the individual's interests.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine trials in Scotland. We are committed to ensuring participants of vaccine trials are not disadvantaged, and we have set out advice on NHS Inform on how to access vaccine records.