THE Scottish Government are “actively considering” vaccine passports, the First Minister has said.

Covid Status Certification, as the UK Government calls it, has also been described as “immunity certificates” and as a measure which allows those who have been vaccinated to move more freely.

They were introduced in England on May 17 2021 as a mobile app.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the Scottish Government is due to launch an app to provide vaccine passports for international travel during a press briefing at St Andrews House in Edinburgh on Friday, and said that the system “does have functionality for use in domestic settings”.

However, Sturgeon added that there are “ethical equity” considerations that need to be taken, to make sure that people aren’t excluded from essential services.

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Optional services, such as pubs and nightclubs, could be considered under the scheme, but the First Minister said she didn’t want to “single out” the hard-hit hospitality industry.

Certification status would not just include vaccination status, Sturgeon explained, but can also include testing and results.

Asked if the Scottish Government are considering vaccine passports, she said: “I’ve tried not to be up or down on the questions, I’ve tried to be reasonably open minded.

“There are, I think, all countries will recognise this, there are ethical equity considerations, there are also practical considerations.

“We’ve just been talking about how the Delta, in particular with Delta, vaccines don’t completely stop transmission so there are practical questions about how much protection in settings against transmission that would give, but we are actively considering.

The National:

The First Minister said the government was "actively considering" Covid certification

“I would not I don’t think be in favour of vaccine certificates for access to essential services that people don’t have a choice over but places where you know it's optional, we all have a choice of whether we go to, it may be an added layer of protection and mitigation, not a silver bullet, but an added layer that will be worth considering.”

The First Minister said that she will make sure to “fully involve parliament” in any decision making due to the ethical issues surrounding vaccine passports.

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She added: “But I’ve been clear all along that we shouldn’t rule out the app that we will shortly launch which has been designed principally to ease the process of vaccine certificates for international travel, as I’ve said before it does have functionality for use in domestic settings, so it is certainly not something by any stretch we have ruled out, we’re actively considering it.”

Asked if by “optional settings” the First Minister meant nighclubs and pubs, she said it would not be “fair to single out” those sectors.

She said: “Yes, what the kind of places you’re talking about would of course come into these categories but I don’t think it's fair just to single out nightclubs, who have had a particularly torrid time, they’ve been closed longer than any other setting.”

The National:

The First Minister was asked if certification would be needed for pubs and nightclubs

We previously told how the developer behind the Protect Scotland app said it would be “possible” for the country to run vaccine passports domestically.

NearForm, the Ireland-based developer, confirmed they were working on the technology in July.

And, in the same month Deputy First Minister John Swinney poured cold water on suggestions people who refuse Covid-19 vaccines would be barred from mass events, after Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the UK Government were considering certification for events such as football matches.

Vaccine certification is also set to be a condition for entry to nighclubs in England from September.