Vaccine passports delayed, but challenges still lie ahead

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson

Trade body comments on delay and ventilation funding

COMMENTING on the First Minister’s announcement of the delay to enforcement of vaccine passports, UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said: “Today’s news that the Scottish Government will delay enforcement is welcome. Acknowledging the concerns of business, raised by UKHospitality Scotland and others, gives late night businesses time to test and adapt their processes.

“However, the reality is that the Scottish Government is not ready to introduce this scheme. With no published regulations or guidance, businesses are working in the dark with little chance of being ready for Friday. Similarly, there has been no public campaign to advise people on what they need to do, with the app for downloading certification only available from this Thursday.

“The delay in enforcement doesn’t remove the difficulties that many businesses will face later when staffing shortages will remain. Many businesses are already planning to remove themselves from scope. For example, pubs planning to close function rooms at midnight to avoid the need to check passports. This reduces their ability to trade at full capacity now when they need to generate maximum revenue and undermines financial prospects as we head closer to Christmas.

“With covid cases falling rapidly, and the First Minister acknowledging that businesses are already playing their part in keeping customers and workers safe the question remains why the Scottish Government believes covid passports are necessary.” Thompson also commented on the £25 million scheme for ventilation, saying: “Hospitality businesses continue to work hard and invest in safe venues for customers and staff. This funding for improved ventilation is welcome and UKHospitality looks forward to learning more about it.”

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