Nicola Sturgeon will come under fresh pressure to dump plans for covid passports in Scotland after UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said they would not go ahead in England.
Javid confirmed on Sunday morning that in the NHS in England “we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports” in a move that saw Boris Johnson cave in to pressure from angry Tory backbenchers.
In Scotland MSPs voted last Thursday to approve plans for vaccine passports, which will come into force from 1 October for those seeking entry to nightclubs and large-scale events.
Javid’s surprise announcement will re-ignite political and business opposition to the SNP Government’s plans for the scheme in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon won the Holyrood vote in the face of fierce criticism from opposition parties and business leaders.
The SNP government’s proposal was passed with support from the Scottish Greens, who signed a cooperation deal with the Scottish government last month.
Previously Green co-leader Patrick Harvie warning that vaccine passports were “a real danger of generational injustice”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton accused the Scottish Greens of being “midwives to a policy that sets the country on a disturbing and illiberal course”.
Scotland’s hospitality and night-time industries reacted with anger and dismay after a controversial vaccine passport scheme was passed/
The Scottish Licencing Trade Association’s managing director, Colin Wilkinson said his industry remained “unaware” of how the passports would be implemented and criticised the government for only issuing a paper outlining its plan a few hours ahead of the vote.
Under the plan there will be a legal requirement for Scottish businesses to “take all reasonable measures” to ensure compliance – and Scots could face prosecution if they attempt to visit a venue with a fake vaccine passport.
The scheme will make a QR code available through a smart phone app which will be scanned before entry is allowed to nightclubs, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, outdoor unseated events with more than 4,000 people, or any event with more than 10,000 in attendance.
People under 18, those who are medically exempt, and employees within venues will not have to show certification to gain entry.