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Vaccine Passport: Important Questions About Introducing Schemes to Scottish Sports




In less than two weeks, Scottish sports fans over the age of 18 need to prove that they have been vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in order to attend a particular event.

Evidence suggests that the plan will prevent the reimbursement of restrictions, but allowing such events to proceed raises concerns and serious hurdles for the sports industry.

Here, the BBC Scotland considers important questions surrounding the Scottish Government’s vaccine certification scheme as the introduction date of October 1 approaches.

What is a vaccine passport?

For access to specific venues and events, a vaccine passport is basically your golden ticket.

Vaccination proof is required for unseat indoor events with more than 500 people, unseat outdoor events with more than 4,000 people, and events with more than 10,000 people.

To obtain that proof, a double-jabbed person can obtain a digital or paper certificate with a QR code. The NHS Scotland Covid Status App will also be available from the end of this month.

People with medical conditions who cannot be fully vaccinated are exempt and can be presented with a document certifying this.

Why do you need them?

Simply put, the system was introduced with the hope of reducing the risk of Covid-19 infection and ensuring that sports venues, which have recently begun to welcome spectators, remain open to the public.

Professor Denis Kinane, an immunologist and founding scientist at Cignpost Express Test, told BBC Scotland that the project “should be truly supported.”

“We need to be less complacent,” says Professor Kinane. “Relaxing certain restrictions is a step in the right direction for us to return to normal.

“But with the rise of incidents and the constant threat of new variants, security measures need to be taken to keep everyone safe, especially at events with more than 10,000 people.”

SFSA fan survey graphic
The results of the SFSA survey also show that 54% of fans support vaccine passports.

Who will it affect?

In the Scottish Premiership alone, only three teams, St Mirren, Ross County and Livingston, have a capacity of less than 10,000 people. There are six reasons in the Scottish lower leagues: Kilmarnock, Morton, Dunfermline Athletic, Air United, Partick Thistle and Airdrieonians, which exceed the 10,000 limit.

In fact, only five teams, Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibernian and Aberdeen, have average attendance rates above the 10,000 threshold. Also, it is not yet clear whether clubs that exceed the capacity limit but have a small capacity need vaccination certification. Go through the gate.

The national football stadiums (Hampden and Maryfield) also boast a capacity of over 10,000 people. Scotland Rugby has told BBC Scotland that it is trying to “develop an appropriate approach” for welcoming double-vaccinated spectators.

“Once we have a working solution, we advise ticket owners who come to the match for the necessary steps,” says a spokesman. “We continue to support vaccination programs as a way to ensure that sports can be resumed in the safest way possible, at all levels.”

Bt Marie Field
Marie Field welcomes Scottish Autumn Internationals fans starting next month

What are your concerns?

Concerns about the scheme range from the Scottish football hierarchy to a group of fans related to financial, logistics, and exclusion issues.

While fans and staff were wrestling with technology related to electronic tickets, a large line was seen outside Hampden for Scotland’s recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova. If a vaccine passport check is introduced, it does not herald a smooth process.

Earlier this month, SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster said in a plan “Serious unintended consequences”..

“It’s not clear what IT infrastructure will be in place, what timescale clubs will be required to work on, and what they can do for people without smartphones,” Doncaster added. ..

Doncaster raised concerns about passport checks last week “very hard” Calibrate the documentation for all fans.

“Spotcheck is, frankly, the only realistic reality,” he told the BBC Scotland Sunday Show. “If a football club expects to check 30,000 or 40,000 vaccinated passports minutes before kickoff, that simply won’t happen.”

Fans are also scared. Alan Russell, Chief Executive Officer of Supporters Direct Scotland, told BBC Scotland: “I’m worried about inequality”..

“There are differences in vaccination levels in different sections of society and football support,” Russell told the BBC Scotland. “But in Scotland, the level of vaccination is quite high.

“So we think that only a few people will be excluded for these reasons, but even if it’s one, it’s a concern.”

For those who cannot be vaccinated, Professor Kinane suggests that another step should be taken to avoid unjustified exclusion.

“We also recommend that you introduce effective PCR testing tools to avoid potential discrimination,” he says.




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