Nicola Sturgeon has said that the use of vaccine certificates to allow a further easing of lockdown restrictions “is possible”. 

Politicians and health experts are studying the potential use of the “vaccine passports”, which could see access to venues granted only if customers have been jabbed, received negative tests, or developed antibodies through past infection.

Currently, Israel is the only country with a nationwide pass. There, those with a digital app “green pass” are given exclusive access to gyms, hotels, theatres and concerts (with some limits).

Asked about the idea of vaccine certificates for both international and domestic use, the First Minister said it is something that “should be considered.

Speaking at a media briefing in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: “In general terms I agree that it should be looked at.

“I think we should consider how we use some sort of vaccine certification to open up more in the future. 

“We’ve got to be careful and considered about how we do that.

“There are still some questions that we still don’t fully know the answer to about the vaccine and its impact on transmission – although the early data on that is all very positive.”

What’s stopping the process?

Ms Sturgeon said there are “big ethical” questions about the certificates.

She added: “There are some people who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons, for example, so we need to think through all this. 

“The Scottish Government is thinking about it and we are participating in the international and UK-wide work on this as well. 

“So, it’s not something that I think is practical right now, but in the future it is possible and I think it is important that we give it proper and due consideration.

“We’ve already had some four nations discussions around this so we’re all thinking through these things in the same way.”


Worldwide approach?

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch told the briefing that a worldwide approach, led by the World Health Organisation, could be the best way to go about the plans.

He said: “I don’t think this as easy as it sounds at first hearing. It is enormously complex. 

“It has inequalities challenges, it has challenges around those who are unvaccinated like children. 

“The private sector is beginning to do some of this, so some airlines are saying you can’t fly without a vaccination, so we will have to take a view. 

“Our advice will be the most comfortable if the world does it, and if the WHO lead that thinking for us.

“Then, across the four UK countries, the clinical advisors will give the best advice we can to the four governments.”