'Stupid vaccine passports' - Scots singer Callum Beattie calls out Scottish Government over travel issues
The popular Scottish singer has slammed the government over vaccine passports after he was left stranded in Latvia, unable to enter a restaurant, bar or hotel.
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The pop singer used a digital copy of his government-issued Covid-19 passport to enter Latvia through Riga International Airport, without issue, this week.
After travelled into the city, Mr Beattie was refused entry into a shop to buy water as the scanner, which checked customers' vaccine passports, would not accept his digital copy.
Mr Beattie ran into further problems at a variety of shops, pubs, restaurants in the city and was unable to enter his hotel.
Left without option, Mr Beattie was forced to leave the city and has since travelled to Estonia.
Frustrated with the situation, the pop singer took to social media to voice his anger on a Facebook Live, streamed Monday, October 11.
Speaking on Facebook Live, the Edinburgh-born musician said: “So guys, we update. I got a flight to Latvia landed in Riga, getting into the country I showed them my Scottish vaccine certificate, no problem.
“I get into Riga and I can’t even go into a shop for a bottle of water because they have a scanner for each shop. I’ve tried a clothes shop, a pub, a restaurant and the Scottish QR code is not recognised.
“So now I am in Riga and I can’t even check into a hotel and I am trying to get a flight out of here.”
The singer was recommended to try the French vaccine app instead
After turning to social media for help, a Twitter user recommended Mr Beattie should downloading the French vaccine app and input his British details into this system, believing this would allow him access to the city's shops and restaurants.
A fuming Mr Beattie said: “Why should I have to download a French app to get a bottle of water from a shop in Latvia when I’m British. Does anybody else not see the madness in this?”
Mr Beattie regularly travels out of the UK for work and said he has spent more than £2k on Covid-19 related travel costs.
Already annoyed by the expensive and complicated travel arrangements, Mr Beattie hit out at the government over their vaccine passport system.
He said: “I’m just really p*ssed off at the Scottish Government because surely they should have been telling us that at the airport before you board the plane.
“What annoys me more is every time I speak up about the stupid vaccine passport everyone gets their backs up and thinks you are anti-vac or in denial about Covid. But I’m not, I just think these things are divisive. They are trying to divide us and it’s insane.”
Information clear, says government
A spokesperson from the government said they have sympathy for Mr Beattie but have previously published information stating that Latvia only accepts the UK’s letter version as proof of vaccination record.
However, when asked why Mr Beattie was not clearly informed of this before entering Latvia the government’s spokesperson did not comment.
The spokesperson said: “We sympathise with Mr Beattie’s situation but Latvia is not yet set up to accept digital versions of Covid status from either Scotland or the rest of the UK.
“As stated on the Covid Status app, it is important to check the entry requirements of the country to which you are travelling.”