First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament today, 23 November, that the Covid certification scheme would not be extended to other venues, as feared, due to the “inevitable impact” such a move would have on businesses.

From 6 December ticket holders for events already covered by the scheme, such as nightclubs, football stadiums and concerts, will be able to enter the venues after presenting a negative Covid test rather than the existing requirement to provide proof of being double vaccinated.

The Scottish Government had said it was considering expanding the scheme to include cinemas, theatres and other hospitality venues

Sturgeon said, “We have taken account of the fact that although our situation is precarious cases are currently stable and indeed slightly declining; and we have considered the inevitable impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses; and concluded that, at this stage, extension would not be proportionate.”

Earlier in the day, live event industry associations including LIVE and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland called on the Scottish Government not to extend the scheme.

LIVE CEO Greg Parmley said the Scottish Government’s evidence demonstrates that introducing vaccine passports has failed to increase the rates of vaccination. He said that in the 18-29 year-old demographic the numbers of people getting their jabs in Scotland has been at a similar rate, and at times higher, in England where there is no vaccine passport.

Parmley also said the economic impact had been huge: “The evidence from some parts of the Scottish live music industry has shown this policy has slashed income by up to 40%.”

NTIA Scotland said the Scottish Government ‘Evidence Paper’ published on 19 November, did not demonstrate that the existing scheme had been successful in either of its’ stated policy objectives, namely, A) to increase the uptake of vaccination amongst the relevant demographic or B) to reduce transmission risk and consequent health harms within the affected settings.