First Minisiter Nicola Sturgeon announced live from Edinburgh today that there will be no extension to the vaccine passport scheme across Scotland at this stage.
Ms Sturgeon said “As I indicated last week, the Cabinet also considered the possible extension of the scheme to a much wider range of premises, including indoor theatres, cinemas and other hospitality venues.
Let me stress, this was a very, very finely balanced decision.
However, I can confirm that at this stage we have decided not to extend the scope of the scheme.
We have taken account of the fact that – although our situation is precarious – cases are currently stable and indeed slightly declining; and we have considered the inevitable impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses; and concluded that, at this stage, extension would not be proportionate.
We were also mindful of the need over the coming weeks, as I’ve already alluded to, of getting across the message that it is important to be vaccinated and tested ahead of socialising in any setting – including in homes and shopping centres, for example – not just in those that might be covered by a certification scheme.
I said last week that we would take this decision with the utmost care and that is what we have done.
It is important to stress, however, that we must keep it – as we do all possible protections – under review.
If our situation does deteriorate, it may yet be that extending COVID certification is a more proportionate alternative to the re-introduction of more onerous restrictions on, for example, hospitality.
We will continue to liaise closely with businesses about this and about what they must do in the coming weeks to minimise that risk.
To begin to conclude, it is an understatement I am sure to say that all of us are sick and tired of this virus and the impact it, although less than in previous months, it is nevertheless still having on our lives.
I understand that and indeed I share that sentiment.
I am also deeply grateful for all the sacrifices everyone has made and continues to make.
Thanks to those sacrifices, we are in a much stronger position now than I would have dared hope for just a few weeks ago.
But I can’t emphasise strongly enough that our position is still precarious.
The next few weeks do pose risks.
Cases are rising in countries around us. And the festive period will bring more travel and more socialising.