Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘arrogant’ SNP scheme would allow ‘Covid to spread under radar’

Sajid Javid says vaccine passports ‘will not be going ahead’

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Proof of jab status is now required to get into nightclubs and large events after the “grace period” allowed by Nicola Sturgeon when she formally imposed the new rules on October 1 ran out. Scottish Labour said there were few signs the SNP had listened to objections from businesses, or learned any lessons from the disastrous launch of the vaccine passport app.

Health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie MSP added: “Weeks have passed and we have seen no change of plans despite concerns from the public, public health experts and businesses.

“This whole debacle has happened because the SNP are arrogant enough to believe they are right and Scotland is wrong.

“The First Minister is making this up as she goes along. If we want to control the virus, we must look at proper resourcing of our test and protect system, which has collapsed in recent weeks.

“If we want to drive up vaccination, we should be going door to door to convince those we know are hesitant and making it easier to just walk in for an appointment.

“Instead, the Government is doubling down on this mess.”

The Scottish Liberal Democrats said the scheme would allow Covid to “spread under the radar” across Scotland and “breed false confidence” amongst Scots.

Party leader Alex-Cole Hamilton told the Express: “The launch was a shambles and the IT system struggled to cope.

“The data protection is virtually non-existent, given that this expensive system can be outfoxed by anyone who knows how to take a screenshot. Industry leaders and human rights organisations have been dragging the government over the coals.

“Covid ID cards should be abolished immediately.”

The Edinburgh Western MSP made clear it was a “shameful distraction from the measures that we know can help us defeat the virus: testing, tracing and vaccinating”.

READ MORE: SNP chief tables plot for Nicola Sturgeon to win independence

Stephen Montgomery, of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said businesses were not ready to enforce the passports. He added: “The introduction has been a shambles to say the least.”

But the Scottish Government insisted that venues and businesses affected had been given time to “make suitable arrangements”.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the feedback from the grace period had been helpful, and claimed that clubs might be forced to close without the scheme.

He said: “This is a very limited scheme and we hope this will allow businesses to remain open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

“This virus has not gone away, and vaccine certification will have a role to play in keeping transmission under control as part of a wider package of measures.

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“It adds a further layer of protection in certain higher-risk settings.

“I also want to ensure that as many people get vaccinated as possible, and particularly to increase uptake in the younger age cohort. So anything to incentivise that is helpful.”

From today, clubs, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, outdoor events with more than 4,000 people and all events with more than 10,000 people are expected to demand proof that everyone attending has been double-vaccinated.

People can use either a paper copy of their status or the new app, which has been plagued with problems since its launch. Councils have been made responsible for making sure
venues and businesses obey the rules.

Scotland recorded two Covid deaths yesterday and 2,666 cases, with a test positivity rate of 10 per cent.

Some 829 people were in hospital with confirmed Covid-19, with 45 in intensive care.

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