Scotland's vaccine passport: COVID app experiencing technical difficulties

The Scottish government is rolling out their vaccine passport scheme today, but the NHS COVID app has not been cooperating.

Vaccine passport
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Vaccine passport

From 5 PM today (1 October), Scots will be asked to present proof that they’ve been double-jabbed if they want to enter nightclubs and large events. While the new law is coming into effect on Friday, authorities have given the respective establishments up until 18 October to test the protocol and put all the proper procedures in place.

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Vaccine passport

MPs voted in favour of the change in September, to encourage the younger population to get vaccinated and to allow large events to take place in a safe environment. The venues that have been affected by the new rule change, as listed by the government, include nightclubs, sexual entertainment venues, unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events with 4,000 plus attendees, and all events that have 10,000 or more in the audience.

All those above the age of 18 will be asked to present their vaccination status through the NHS Scotland COVID Status App. The app was launched on 30 September at 5:30 PM, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the users.

Technical difficulties

The BBC reported that since the launch of the COVID app, users have been facing many technical difficulties. Officials from the government have commented saying that it could be because a high volume of people were trying to use the app at the same time. A spokesperson said:

Some people may be experiencing issues which are likely to be caused by extremely high initial traffic and a large number of users trying to access the app at once. We advise people whose data is not found to try again a couple of hours later.

For those who do not have access to the app, they will be able to request for an ‘un-editable paper record’ of vaccination that will also have a QR code. It states on GOV.SCOT:

As is currently the case people unable to use the App will be able to request a secure un-editable paper record of vaccination, with enhanced security features such as thermochromatic ink to prevent forgery. This will also have a QR code.
Anyone who already has a paper copy of their record of vaccination with a QR code on it can continue to use that record. In addition the downloadable PDF that is currently available will remain valid for a short period of time.

Scotland is the only country in the UK who has implemented the vaccine passport, however Wales is planning to do the same.

UK government rejects COVID-19 vaccine passports UK government rejects COVID-19 vaccine passports