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Scotland's Vaccine Passport Scheme - further details confirmed Published Date: 23/09/2021


Mandatory vaccine certification will be introduced in regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and supported by guidance. 

Ministers must review the regulations at least every three weeks to assess whether any requirement in the regulations is still necessary to prevent, protect against, control or provide a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection in Scotland with coronavirus. As soon as Ministers consider the requirements to no longer be necessary for this purpose, they must be revoked.

Draft guidance for business was promised and subsequently published on 28 September.


The scheme will come into force on Friday 1 October (from 5 am). Therefore, any events or settings that meet the criteria for certification will need to use certification from 5am on Friday 1 October 2021 onwards, until further notice.


The scheme will apply in the following higher risk settings:

For live events, ‘unseated’ includes events where some audience members are seated and some standing.

‘Attendees’ means the number of people attending the event.

For multi-day events or events with different time slots – it is the number of people attending on any day or time slot. It does not include staff, contractors, performers or volunteers involved in the delivery of the event.

Late night venues with music, alcohol and dancing

By “late night venues with music and dancing” we mean any setting which meets ALL of the following criteria:

  • is open at any time between midnight and 0500
  • serves alcohol after midnight
  • has a dance floor or other designated space for dancing; and
  • provides live or recorded music, for dancing

A pub or restaurant that usually stays open past midnight, with music, alcohol and dancing, will be able to choose whether to continue to operate in a similar way to a nightclub, with certification. Alternatively, they can choose to stop the music or close the dancefloor after midnight, and operate without certification.

For venues that meet these criteria, the person responsible for operating the premises will be under a legal obligation to take all reasonable measures to ensure that, after midnight, only customers who are fully vaccinated or exempt are on the premises.

Exemptions and exceptions

The following people will be exempt:

‘Live event’  does not include:

  • worship
  • funerals, marriage ceremonies or civil partnerships and related post ceremony gatherings
  • mass participation events such as a marathon, triathlon, or moonwalk
  • a demonstration, protest or picket,
  • a public or street market
  • an illuminated trail,
  • free events in public open spaces with no fixed entry points (for example a free firework display in a public park, or a common riding event, or a march or parade)
  • certain business events that individuals are required to attend for work purposes (Only the core, essential business element of the event, including refreshment and meal breaks, will be excepted from certification. Any peripheral reception or function outside the core hours of the event would not be excepted, should it meet the criteria for certification, whether or not alcohol is served.)
  • ‘closed door’ business or trade events, not open to the public for leisure purposes, will be excepted from certification, including refreshment and meal breaks during the day. This means that essential business events such as livestock markets will be excepted

 Read the full update at