Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen given "grace period" over vaccine passport scheme

Scottish football clubs affected by the introduction of vaccine passports have been given a two-week "grace period" before enforcement of the scheme begins.

Scottish clubs - including Celtic - have a two-week "grace period" before enforcement of the vaccine passport scheme comes into effect. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Nicola Sturgeon, in her weekly update to MSPs on the Covid-19 pandemic, confirmed that the Cabinet has agreed to suspend enforcement of the certification scheme until October 18.

This is despite football clubs who host crowds in excess of 10,000 people – including Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen – being legally required to check the vaccine status of supporters from 5am on Friday.

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The Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Motherwell at Tynecastle this Saturday is the first in the country to fall under the requirement for spot-checking where fans will be asked to show either documents or digital evidence on a mobile phone to prove they have received both doses of the vaccine.

Next week’s Scotland World Cup qualifying fixture against Israel at a sold-out Hampden Park will also fall under the “grace period” but the Scottish Rugby Autumn Tests will not.

Ms Sturgeon said a two week period would allow businesses to "test” the arrangements in place to comply with the vaccine certification scheme.

The First Minister said: “This period - effectively a grace period - will allow businesses to test, adapt and build confidence in the practical arrangements they will need to put in place to be compliant with the scheme.

“However, the pragmatic compromise that I have just outlined in relation to a staged introduction of the scheme demonstrates, I hope, that we are listening to business about the practical challenges they face - and that we are determined to work with them to overcome these.”

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