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Scottish Labour ‘playing politics’ as Wales introduces vaccine passports

Scottish Labour MSPs voted against the policy in Holyrood earlier this month in a move described by Scottish Government ministers as “opposition for opposition’s sake”.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday unveiled a model of certification similar to that to be rolled out in Scotland from next month.

READ MORE: Michael Russell: Why opposition for opposition’s sake is failing Scotland

People in Wales will need to show a pass proving they have been fully vaccinated or had a negative Covid test to attend clubs and large-scale events. The new rules begin on October 11. Customers will be able to use an NHS Covid Pass to show they have been vaccinated or had a negative lateral flow test in the past 48 hours.

As in Scotland, the pass will be needed for clubs, indoor no-seating events with more than 500 people and outdoor no-seating events with more than 4000 people. It will also be required for any event with more than 10,000 people.

Drakeford made the announcement as part of a review of restrictions, despite warnings from a nightclub trade body that the move may damage the industry. “The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again,” he said. “That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now.”

SNP MSP Paul McLennan said: “It is time for Scottish Labour to stop playing politics with public health and find a backbone. Their opposition for opposition’s sake approach is clear for all to see, but that does not work when we are dealing with a global pandemic. Labour in Wales can see the benefits of vaccine passports to allow businesses to stay open without bringing in tougher restrictions – why can’t Labour in Scotland see that?

“Despite Scottish Labour’s opposition to the SNP/Green co-operation agreement, Labour is entering a similar agreement in Wales, again showing that Labour in Scotland is not ready for grown up politics.”

Scottish Labour said their objection wasn’t on principle but on questions around the Scottish Government’s execution and handling of the pandemic.

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