Covid Scotland: Barring people who refuse vaccination from events 'wrong', says John Swinney

Barring people who refuse a coronavirus vaccination from certain large events is the wrong approach, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

Mr Swinney said he disagrees with a suggestion from Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove who said the UK Government is considering vaccine passports for events such as football matches.

Vaccine passports will be a condition for entry to nightclubs in England from September. However, the Scottish Government is yet to make a decision on whether they will be introduced.

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Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. Picture: PA


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Speaking during a visit to Glasgow on Tuesday, Mr Gove said those who refuse vaccines when they are able to receive one are “selfish”.

Mr Swinney, who is also the Covid recovery secretary, was asked about Mr Gove’s comments on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.

He said: “I think it’s the wrong way to handle it.”

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government’s thinking on the issue had been influenced by Professor Stephen Reicher of St Andrews University.


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Mr Swinney said: “I think, listening to Professor Reicher, I would be much more convinced by an argument that was about engaging people, taking people with us and explaining the rationale, rather than the type of language that you’ve just put to me from Michael Gove.”

Mr Swinney also said discussions are ongoing with the UK Government around waiving the need to quarantine for double-vaccinated travellers who arrive from the US and EU.

Asked about Scotland’s vaccine rollout, he said it has “massively exceeded” the planning assumption for an 80 per cent uptake.


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