NTIA and Nightlife in Scotland React to Covid Passport Shambles

As of this weekend businesses are obliged by law to check the vaccination status of everyone entering most pubs, bars, function rooms, or nightclubs who will still be on the premises after midnight, either by scanning the QR code on the NHS Covid Passport app, visually checking the status or checking a printed paper copy of vaccine status.

It has become very clear that the Scottish App is simply not fit for purpose and the vast majority of people are experiencing repeated problems in registering and uploading their personal vaccine status to the app.  The NTIA has repeatedly warned Scottish Government of just how unworkable their vaccine passport plan is, and the disastrous launch of this flawed scheme has proved that our warnings were well founded.

Venues all over Scotland reported high levels of customer frustration over the lack of information from government and chaotic roll out of the App.  It is becoming clear that increasing numbers of the public are losing trust in the Scottish government’s ability to competently administer this scheme and safeguard their personal medical details. 

Against a background of virtually zero public information from Scottish Government, and little guidance issued to affected venues, the degree of understanding amongst the general populace of these requirements is close to non-existent. Confusion reigns over the delay in enforcement with most people believing that the scheme itself has been delayed, while as predicted there are huge operational issues as operators try to comply with this nonsensical and discriminatory policy with their hands effectively tied behind their backs. 

Mike Grieve, Chairperson NTIA Scotland & Sub Club Director, said: ‘As anticipated, the roll out of this ill-conceived policy led to chaos and confusion in the street last night with only a handful of our customers in possession of a functioning app passport. Around 50-60 others had a photocopy or screenshot of the wrong vaccination information or other spurious evidence of vaccination.

Despite this we successfully checked all attendees for same day LFTs to protect the health and safety of our customers and staff. What a shambles!’

Gavin Stevenson Vice Chairperson NTIA Scotland said: ‘It is beyond belief that the Scottish Government have continued with this flawed, discriminatory and unfair vaccine passport scheme against the advice of the affected sector and a majority of public health experts. Worse still, the rush to get it out to political deadlines has resulted in a completely botched launch that is destroying public trust in this government and creating anger and frustration on the streets outside venues.  Nicola Sturgeon’s disastrous plan for medical ID’s must be scrapped immediately, and lessons learned as to why other European countries are now scrapping their schemes too.’

Donald Macleod, MD Holdfast Entertainment / CPL, said: ‘Sadly and predictably last night’s front door trailing of the Scottish Governments new Covid Certification App proved to be problematic and highly confusing, with the vast majority of punters unable to access the APP or show the required proof. This is an APP-ALLING shambles which if allowed to continue will have a devastating effect on the very fragile night-time economy. This ridiculous “Big Brother” experiment and infringement of an individual’s civil rights should be dropped immediately.

Tony Cochrane, Director of Club Tropicana, said: ‘The majority of customers at my clubs throughout Scotland told us they were annoyed and frustrated at multiple failed attempts to download the vaccine app and lost all faith in it. Other found no guidance on how to get it. You only get one chance to launch anything and this one must be one of the greatest failures ever. Public confidence in this has gone.’

Michael Kill, CEO NTIA UK, said:‘Last night Businesses across Scotland felt the real weight of confusion and frustration from members of the public on the first trading session where operators were expected to implement Covid passports, this ill-conceived, unworkable mitigation which has been poorly communicated will only lead to further chaos and potentially irreversible damage to a sector which is still extremely fragile, and is fundamental to the recovery of Scotland’s economy.’

Share this!