Covid in sport: Vaccine passport system for Scottish fans to start on October 1

Supporters attending Hearts vs Motherwell, Aberdeen vs Celtic and Rangers vs Hibernian are among the first who will be impacted; Scottish Government hope the introduction of a vaccine certification system will help control the spread of Covid-19

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Scottish Football Supporters Association chairman Andy Smith has urged clubs and authorities to work together to make the system a success

Sports fans in Scotland may need to prove they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to attend matches from October 1.

The vaccine passport scheme will apply to all events where crowds are bigger than 10,000 people.

Unseated outdoor events where more than 4,000 people attend will also be subject to the new measures, as will indoor events with more than 500 spectators.

It means many of those planning to attend Scottish Premiership matches that weekend may need to provide proof they have been vaccinated.

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Scotland's home World Cup Qualifier against Israel a week later - which is already sold out - could also require proof of vaccination.

Initially, providing a negative test result as an alternative to a covid passport will not be accepted.

However, those under 18, participants in vaccine trials, those unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons and employees at venues within the scope of the scheme will be exempt.

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Scotland's football authorities had expressed concern about the possibility of introducing coronavirus passports and are now hopeful spot-checks could be introduced instead.

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Prof Denis Kinane from Cignpost Diagnostics explains the reasons why sports fans in Scotland will need to prove they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to attend live events from October 1

A spokesperson for the Joint Response Group said: "Both the Scottish FA and the SPFL wholeheartedly support the national effort to eradicate COVID-19.

"We have been in discussions with Scottish Government officials regarding the practical implications of vaccine passports for major events, and in particular the risk of health and safety issues and crowd disorder if fans are delayed getting into stadiums, which everyone naturally wants to avoid.

"With only three weeks before the 1st October deadline, we are committed to working hard to develop an effective and workable solution.

"With that in mind, we are keen to explore whether any vaccine passport regime can include spot-checks, rather than blanket inspections of everyone attending games."

The Scottish Government hope the introduction of vaccine passports will help control the spread of Covid-19 and encourage others to get vaccinated.

A Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) survey of 900 fans showed 54 per cent of fans were in favour of the idea while 62 per cent would prefer to be in a football environment where all fans are vaccinated.

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