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First Minister to make announcement on vaccine passports


Nicola Sturgeon is to set out any further expansion of vaccine passports in Scotland during a scheduled coronavirus briefing.

The First Minister will make an announcement on potential changes to Covid-19 restrictions in the Scottish Parliament shortly after 2pm today.

Vaccine passports came into effect in October and currently require nightclubs and large venues to only allow entry to people who can show they have been double jabbed.

Sturgeon will confirm whether the scheme is being extended to more venues including theatres, cinemas and other hospitality venues.

Any changes to current Covid-19 restrictions are said to come into force from 6 December onwards.

Opposition parties have taken aim at the Scottish Government’s handling of the vaccine passport scheme.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglass Ross said there is “no evidence to suggest vaccine passports do anything to stop the spread of Covid-19”.

Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said vaccine passports should be abolished and demanded a full parliamentary vote before any changes to coronavirus restrictions come into force.

He said the SNP and Greens have not provided any factual evidence to show the current scheme is keeping Scotland safer, adding “no wonder it has been attacked by everyone from health experts to civil liberties groups”.

A Scottish Government spokesman responded: “The situation around the pandemic is serious so we are being open about all of the options available to us that may be required to protect the public.”

Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, called on the First Minister to “seriously consider the economic damage” further restrictions could have on businesses.

She said that most Scottish businesses remain “unconvinced” that the public health benefits of an extension to Scotland’s coronavirus scheme outweigh the negatives for individuals, businesses and the economy.

Cameron added that the government has failed to demonstrate that “workplace transmission” is happening in office settings, with further encouragement of the work from home scheme having devastating impact on city centre economies.

In response, a Scottish Government spokesman said encouraging working from home is “an important mitigation in controlling the virus” and to minimise other economic and social restrictions.


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Separately, Sturgeon has been asked to appear before the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster.

Chairman Pete Wishart wrote to the First Minister, asking her to attend the session in person at the House of Commons, but leaving open when the hearing would take place.

The committee would look to question Sturgeon on its recent reports on welfare, education, renewable energy and the shared prosperity fund.

“All of these reports contained recommendations aimed at both the UK and Scottish governments,” Wishart said. “We would welcome an opportunity to have a general conversation with you on these topics and other devolved policy areas.

“It would also be a chance for you to comment on how collaborative working between the UK and Scottish governments currently benefits the people of Scotland, or could be improved.”

He added in a statement: “Her evidence will be invaluable in considering the ongoing work between the UK and Scottish governments, and how this relationship could be strengthened to benefit the Scottish people.

“I look forward to hearing whether the First Minister will accept our invitation, for what will surely be an unmissable event.”

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