Scottish licensed trade expresses concern over ‘Covid passport’ proposals

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she makes a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

The announcement by the Scottish First Minister that the Scottish Government has proposed rolling out vaccine certificates in clubs and larger event settings is a “threat hanging over the whole of the hospitality industry”, commented the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).

“Although the suggestion is that the wider hospitality industry will not be affected should the Scottish Government agree to introduction of ‘Covid passports’ next week, it is a most unwelcome development for the licensed trade in general,” said Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director.

“But a simple question is: where is the evidence that this is required for nightclubs and what is a nightclub? We are seeing a large spike in infection rates following the general reopening of the economy when a number of sectors fully reopened and Scottish schools have been opened for two weeks, universities and colleges are about to open, but night clubs alone have been targeted with the possible introduction of a Covid status certification system at this time.

“And what is a nightclub? With a wide variety of hybrid premises in the Scottish licensed trade market, how is this defined? Many pubs, bars and hotels are larger than nightclubs and offer various entertainments. Consultation with the industry before this announcement was made would have been helpful.

“If Covid status certification is to be introduced, any system must be easy to use for both businesses and members of the public.

“We await the finer details of how this scheme will work and will strive to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that their introduction, if that is what happens, is seamless and easy for all involved.”