Nicola Sturgeon's sports reprieve on vaccine passport checks

Spectators attending sporting events across Scotland will not be subject to blanket covid vaccination checks upon entry to arenas and stadia, the First Minister has said.

Hampden and the Hydro will be subject to the new rules for venues over 10,000 capacity. Pictures: SNS
Hampden and the Hydro will be subject to the new rules for venues over 10,000 capacity. Pictures: SNS

The covid vaccination certification scheme was initially applicable for all sports grounds and venues hosting in excess of 10,000 people, with proof of a jag necessary for entry.

That raised concerns from Scottish football bosses and their appeal for a reduced ‘spot-check’ compromise has been granted by Nicola Sturgeon.

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From October 1, spectators attending Scotland’s largest football and rugby grounds – as well as the Hydro – must be able to show their covid certificate when asked.

"Once the scheme is launched, anyone going to a venue or event which requires certification will be required, if asked, to show their vaccine record,” Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood. "Staff will either scan or visually check your QR code.

"At a venue such as a nightclub, or at a relatively small event, we expect that it will be possible to check vaccine certificates for everyone in attendance. However at larger events, organisers will be expected to carry out a reasonable number of checks,” she said.

Hearts’ game with Motherwell on October 2 would be the first sports event to be affected when the new rule comes into place, and it will also be applicable to SPFL fixtures across the weekend and the Scotland v Israel World Cup qualifier a week later at Hampden.

Josh Taylor’s highly anticipated boxing bout with Jake Catterall at the Hydro in December would also be subject to the rule under capacity regulations.

Ms Sturgeon added that the scheme’s operational details, improvements and upgrades would remain “under review”.

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