Cop26: No Scottish Government vaccine passports needed

Those attending the Cop26 summit in Glasgow will not need to use the Scottish Government’s vaccine passport system to enter the conference.

Around 30,000 people are expected to visit the city in November for the international summit on climate change.

Instead, delegates have been asked to take a daily lateral flow device test and will not need to show their vaccine status in order to access the main conference at the SEC or fringe events.

The Scottish Government’s vaccine passport scheme began on Friday, but the mobile phone app accompanying it suffered from teething problems immediately after launch.

Events with more than 10,000 people in attendance, as well as nightclubs and unseated indoor events with more than 500 people in the audience, all require visitors to show proof of vaccination.

The Scotsman newspaper reported that the Scottish Hospitality Group was angered by the exemption for Cop26.

Stephen Montgomery, a spokesman for the group, told the newspaper: “Hard-pressed hospitality businesses yet again have to suffer restrictions whilst understaffed and failing to recruit people to partake in implementing this policy even on October 18.

“To have thousands of people descend on Glasgow from all around the world with no need for vaccine certification, it undermines the reason why we are doing this in the first place.

“Are the Government in the same situation as we are in that they cannot find the staff to police it or are they finally realising there is no point?

“Where is the bigger risk? 30,000 people from all over the world at the SEC or 400 people in a nightclub?”

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “This is an admission from the SNP that their vaccine passport scheme isn’t fit for purpose.

“The unworkable scheme would have caused chaos at Cop26 – but we should be scrapping it altogether instead of picking and choosing where it applies.

“Seeing the biggest event in Scotland get a free pass will add insult to injury for the businesses struggling with the scheme.”

The UK Government says it has been offering coronavirus vaccines to delegates from around the world who would otherwise not have received one.

Quarantine rules will only apply to those who have visited red list countries in the 10 days before their arrival in the UK.

The Scottish Government has said the initial problems with the vaccine passport app have largely been resolved.

Nicola Sturgeon was asked about Cop26 as she updated the Scottish Parliament on Covid-19 on Tuesday.

She said: “We of course are working with UK Government, with the United Nations, in terms of the overall mitigations in place around Cop26.

“There are arrangements around testing and other mitigations that those attending Cop will be required to comply with.

“These are arrangements in which we are cooperating with others and I know all of us, for all sorts of reasons, want Cop26 to be a success.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Vaccine certification will not apply for UN-accredited attendees inside the Cop26 Blue Zone, however there will be enhanced Covid measures in place such as 1m physical distancing and the wearing of face masks unless seated.

“All other national and local restrictions will continue to apply outside the Blue Zone, including to any accredited attendee wishing to visit, for example, a nightclub.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992