10th September 2021

Reacting to confirmation that the introduction of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Certification Scheme has been approved by the Scottish Parliament, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“The Scottish Government’s strategic shift from eliminating, to suppressing and living with the virus, was a huge step forward and allowed many businesses to open up and start trading again. Whilst the Parliament has voted in favour of vaccine certifications, there is no doubt that this step will act as an economic deterrent.

“These new requirements will directly impact on consumer confidence and risks creating further financial damage to those sectors who have already been hardest hit by COVID-19. The events, night-time economy and hospitality sectors have had an incredibly tough 18 months and have expressed legitimate concerns over the impact vaccine certifications will have on trading.

“At the same time, these beleaguered businesses face the prospect of further costs to implement the scheme, including scanning equipment and additional staff to manage entry. In the meantime, many businesses are still desperately seeking the detail they need around exemptions, enforcement, penalties or even the definition of the venues covered which is deeply concerning given the pace of certification rollout. Huge questions also remain over how long these measures will remain in place and what level cases would need to fall to for these requirements to be removed. All of these questions need addressed urgently.

“The Scottish Government should continue to focus their efforts and resources towards ensuring as many individuals are fully vaccinated as quickly as possible, put greater investment into supporting the Test and Protect approach and engage with business to put in place workable plans which enable all of us to live and work safely with as few restrictions as possible.”

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