Scotland's Covid passport plans look to be heading for trouble – John McLellan

A few weeks ago, Edinburgh rugby supporters had to go through Covid security checks at Murrayfield and were warned that without vaccine proof they would be barred from future matches.

And indeed Scottish Rugby’s instructions for those attending the autumn internationals were clear: “All adults must be fully vaccinated and bring proof of this status with you to the match.”

Being a largely law-abiding crowd, I imagine most of the 67,000 capacity crowds at the last two matches have done just that, but how would the SRU know?

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Unlike the Edinburgh games there were no turnstile checks, presumably because a pragmatic decision was taken that the queues would have snaked beyond Haymarket had they done so.

So it’s hard to know what to make of the likely extension of vaccine passports to pubs, restaurants and theatres next month, not least because no-one knows exactly what a “vaccine passport” is, and there’s no definition of what constitutes “proof”.

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There won’t be any peak-capped government Covid militia demanding that diners or drinkers show their papers, so the onus will be on managers and proprietors to interpret and implement vague and legally unenforceable guidelines.

The technological problems with the Scottish government’s Covid app, especially for Android phone users, have been well documented, so with confusion being the most likely outcome, there is a danger the default becomes another disastrous blanket ban.

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Covid passports could be required by venues like pubs and restaurants under proposals being considered by the Scottish government (Picture: Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)

And if anyone needs proof of the bureaucratic propensity to impose panic measures, look no further than Edinburgh Council’s knee-jerk ban on Broughton High School’s theatre trip.

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John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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