Covid vaccine passports: Introducing certification is a hard decision but it has widespread support across Europe – Angus Robertson MSP

Vaccination certification is now the norm across Europe.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:30 pm
Covid vaccine 'passports' are increasingly required to travel abroad (Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)

As we try to battle Covid-19, vaccine passports are increasingly required for travel and, in certain social environments, both to reduce the risks to people attending but also as an encouragement to those still to get vaccinated.

In August, the EU Digital Covid Certificate was introduced in all 27 member states as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Politicians from all countries agreed it was a proportionate and necessary step to help control the pandemic while opening up travel and social venues.

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There has been little or no ideological dispute about the vaccine certification.

This includes countries run by social democrat governments such as Finland, Denmark, Spain, Malta, Portugal and Sweden; and countries run by conservative governments like Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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Even countries run by liberals, who traditionally question the need to introduce personal ID measures, have introduced the vaccine passports, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

This week the Scottish Parliament will debate proposals to introduce vaccine certification. It will bring Scotland in line with Europe and countries around the world. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon argues that it is the least restrictive way of keeping people safe. Similar plans are set to be introduced shortly in England too.

The Covid pandemic has often challenged politicians to make decisions, not because they are easy but because they are hard. That is why I will be supporting vaccine certification, just like in all other European countries.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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