Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon refuses to give date for decision on vaccine passports

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Nicola Sturgeon has refused to give a date for when a decision will be taken on vaccine passports.

The First Minister apologised to businesses who have called for advance warning over any decision taken, but said the issue must be considered “in the proper way”.

Her statement comes after Boris Johnson said on Monday that nightclubs in England would require vaccine passports for entry in the autumn.

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Asked if Scotland will take a similar step, Ms Sturgeon told a Covid briefing on Tuesday: "We haven't taken a decision on whether or not to require vaccine passports in any particular setting. That will be something we're considering over the next period.

Boris Johnson has announced that vaccine passports will be needed for entry to nightclubs in the autumn.Boris Johnson has announced that vaccine passports will be needed for entry to nightclubs in the autumn.
Boris Johnson has announced that vaccine passports will be needed for entry to nightclubs in the autumn.

"I’ve said many times before, while there are arguments for requiring vaccination to allow entry to certain places, it raises sensitive ethical and equity considerations, not least because there are some people who can't get vaccinated because of health conditions.

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"And we are not yet in a position of having a recommendation to vaccinate all younger teenagers.

"We have to weigh up these things very carefully, and while we’re doing that we need to continue to be cautious.”

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Ms Sturgeon apologised to businesses for not giving more advance notice.

“I'm really sorry, but we have to take decisions on the basis of proper consideration,” she said.

"These are serious issues we're dealing with and for that reason I'm not putting a date on it, we need to consider all of this in the proper way.”

She added: "I think it’s a reasonable assumption that we will say more about the state of our decision making around vaccine passports before we signal the reopening of places like nightclubs, but don’t read into that anything about what that decision might be.”

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Gavin Stevenson, vice-chairman of the Night Time Industries Association Scotland, had previously said it would be “highly problematic” for nightclubs to implement vaccine passports from August 9, when restrictions are next set to be eased.

He said: “By August 9, let’s be honest, the majority of young people will not have been offered their second vaccine.

“We think that would be very discriminatory for many people that have not had the chance to have a second vaccination, or indeed that may perhaps be medically unable to take a vaccination.”

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