Covid passports could be needed for cinema, theatre and hospitality venues

Covid passports could be required to access a wider range of venues including cinemas, theatres and hospitality venues, the First Minister has indicated.

Nicola Sturgeon said that while there were no immediate plans to tighten restrictions the cabinet had been discussing changes to certification with a decision to be announced next week.

Her comments were made to the Scottish parliament today amid concerns about the growing case numbers across Scotland and Europe.

Ms Sturgeon said any changes would be introduced on 6th December – but only if they were “justified and prudent”.

“I’m acutely aware that many business want us to remove mitigations including certification, not extend or tighten them,” she said.

“I understand that but all of our decisions are and must be motivated by a desire to keep people safe but also to get through what will be challenging winter without having to reintroduce any restrictions on trade.

“We want, if possible, business to stay fully open over Christmas and throughout the winter while also keeping Covid under control.

“If an expansion of Covid certification can help us do that it would be irresponsible not to consider it.”

Ms Sturgeon said the government was also considering changes to certification so that a negative test result could be included as proof in addition to double vaccination.

Groups currently exempt, such as the under 18s and those with particular medical conditions, would remain exempt under any changes.

Ms Sturgeon said the government would be producing an evidence paper on the possible changes later this week ahead of consultation with businesses.

The First Minister said the slight increase in numbers recently – now averaging around 3,000 new cases a day – demonstrated the need for continued precautions.

She said the race between the vaccination and the virus had not yet been won.

Urging folk to get vaccinated, whether their first jab, second or booster, Ms Sturgeon said it was “impossible to state how important it is to get vaccinated”.

She choosing not to be vaccinated was “deeply irresponsible” while taking the jab was “the most precious gift we can give others at this time”.

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