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Scotland’s coronavirus vaccine passport scheme is an “unmitigated disaster,” says Scottish Hospitality Group


Scotland’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine passport scheme, which aims to control the number of people attending events at different venues and non-essential domestic and international travel, is an “unmitigated disaster.”

According to the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG), Scotland’s coronavirus vaccine passport scheme was more of a hindrance than a help. SHG represents Scotland’s night-time venues and is made up of many restaurant and bar businesses such as Buzzworks Holdings, the DRG Group, Manorview Group, Montpeliers and Signature Pubs.

Vaccine passports affected footfall at night-time venues

The coronavirus vaccine passport scheme, which has been legally enforceable since Oct. 18, crippled footfall, or the number of people entering a shop or shopping area, in a given time for businesses that were already struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some venues reported a drop in footfall of up to 40 percent.

The Scottish trade body said that enforcing the scheme in venues in the country has resulted in an alarming number of reports of hospitality staff abuse over rejections and queues at venues. There are also accounts of ongoing issues with the coronavirus vaccine passport app and its update.

Scotland’s vaccine certification scheme applies to late-night premises with music, alcohol and dancing between midnight and 5 a.m.

On Monday, Oct. 25, SHG spokesman Stephen Montgomery said that the first weekend of the vaccine passports scheme “has been one of unmitigated disaster” because the Scottish government didn’t listen to feedback from the trade body. The SHG has previously criticized the government’s decision to implement the inconvenient and discriminative vaccine passport scheme.

The scheme was technically enforced on Oct. 1, but it also came with a 17-day grace period to give venues time to prepare for the measure.

Over the weekend, SHG members reported over 550 instances where venue staff had to refuse entry to a customer because they did not have a vaccine passport, they presented an ineligible vaccine passport or they presented a potentially fraudulent vaccine passport.

The SHG has been warning the Scottish government for weeks that the vaccine passport scheme was far from ready and that it offered “no safety net of support” for businesses or their staff. (Related: British government accused of trying to bypass Parliament in vaccine passport push.)

Montgomery also said that some venues were closing at midnight to “take themselves out of scope of the regulation” and because of issues about recruitment and worries about staff welfare.

The Scottish hospitality industry, like others across the globe, has suffered because the government was ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic. If the government cared for these establishments and their staff, the Scottish government should get rid of the coronavirus passport scheme as soon as possible, concluded Montgomery.

Scottish government insists vaccine passport scheme will help improve vaccination rates

Despite the feedback from the SHG, the government defended the vaccine passport scheme as a “proportionate way of encouraging people to get vaccinated.” The measure would also allegedly help ensure that large events and night-time venues can keep operating during what experts say could potentially be a “very difficult winter.”

Under the coronavirus vaccine passport scheme, citizens over the age of 18 must present proof that they have been fully vaccinated before they will be allowed to enter certain venues like nightclubs, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor events with over 4,000 attendees and any event with more than 10,000 attendees.

According to the latest data from the Scottish government, another 2,528 cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Sunday, Oct. 24, with 21 deaths recorded on Monday. As of Sunday, 4,305,582 Scots have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, including 3,892,224 fully vaccinated.

Go to Pandemic.news for more updates related to the coronavirus pandemic across the globe.

Sources include:

GreatGameIndia.com

BeamBox.com

Scotsman.com

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