THE length of time vaccine passports will be kept in place in Scotland “depends on the course of the pandemic”, John Swinney has said.

The Deputy First Minister was giving evidence to the Covid-19 Recovery Committee in Holyrood on Thursday morning when he was probed on the details of the incoming vaccination certification scheme.

Vaccine passports will be used for nighclubs as well as unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with crowds over 4000 and any event (indoor and outdoor) with more than 10,000 people.

The system will be subject to a vote in the Scottish Parliament next week, but the Deputy FM gave some further details during the committee meeting.

READ MORE: Cambo oil field: UK Government 'misleading' public over powers

SNP MSP Jim Fairley told the committee that he and others on the panel had received a “flood of emails” from constituents over one key issue - how long vaccine passports will be kept in place.

Initially, the Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP asked Swinney if the vaccine certificates would be “time limited”.

Asked for clarification, Fairlie said simply, “will they be required forever?”

Swinney said: “It really depends on the course of the pandemic and the degree to which that becomes less of a present and prevalent threat to us.

“You know the government is not doing this because it just decided to do this, it’s doing this because we are looking at what steps we have to take to protect the population and specifically to try to avoid having to apply any further restrictions on the population, we want to avoid that if we possibly can do.

“This we consider to be another step to try to help us to avoid us having to take a step of that nature.”

Fairlie also asked if the requirements for the vaccine passports would change - such as the limits on crowd sizes or extending the certification process to other areas.

Swinney said the government had “no plans” to do that.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: 'Coming days crucial for decision on new restrictions'

The issue of vaccine certification at the crucial UN climate conference in Glasgow in November was also discussed.

Swinney was asked if delegates and those attending would require proof of double vaccination.

He said: “There are discussions underway with the United Kingdom Government and the United Nations around the arrangements in respect for accessing COP-26, so many of these issues are the subject of active discussion with the authorities who are running COP-26 to make sure we have the appropriate arrangements in place.”