THE Scottish Government is considering introducing a new rule to vaccine passports in an effort to curb rising cases.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that officials are considering whether the change would be justified given the current state of the pandemic 

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said the measure is already a feature of many other countries’ Covid certification schemes.

It would mean that as well as showing evidence of vaccination to access venues, Scots would also need to provide evidence of a negative test result.

Ms Sturgeon said: "We will be assessing in the coming days whether we are now in a position to amend the scheme so that in addition to showing evidence of vaccination to access a venue, there will also be the option of providing evidence of a recent negative test result.

"This is already a feature of many other countries’ certification schemes. We are also considering whether an expansion of the scheme to cover more settings would be justified and prudent given the current state of the pandemic."

Officials will use the coming days to engage with Scottish businesses about the potential new measure. 

As well as nightclubs, it would impact indoor cinemas, theatres and some other licensed and hospitality premises.

Ms Sturgeon added: “I am acutely aware that many businesses want us to remove mitigations – including certification – not extend or tighten them.

“I understand that.

“But all of our decisions are motivated by a desire to get through what will be a challenging winter without having to re-introduce any restrictions on trade.

“We want, if possible, businesses to stay fully open over Christmas and through the winter, while also keeping Covid under control.

“If an expansion of Covid certification can help us do that, it would be irresponsible not to consider it.”

Exemptions would be trained for those under 18, those who cannot be vaccinated or tested for medical reasons, for people on clinical trials, and for those who work at events or in venues subject to the scheme.

An update on the measure is expected to be provided by the First Minisster next week. 

It comes as Scotland recorded 17 coronavirus deaths and 2771 new cases in the last 24 hours.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 9406.

There were 779 people in hospital on Monday with recently confirmed Covid-19 - up eight on the day before. Of this figure, 57 were being treated in intensive care.