Conservatives call for vaccine passport delay after app hit with technical glitches


Scottish Tories have repeatedly called for the Scottish Passport Vaccination Program to be delayed after users faced technical issues.

The NHS Scotland Covid Status app was released shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, around 12 hours before the program started.

But users have reported on social media a number of issues with verifying their identity, meaning they couldn’t view their status.

The Scottish Government said the problems were caused by a large number of users trying to access the app at the same time.

Previous pressure for a delay from the Night Time Industries Association Scotland was dismissed by the Court of Session on Thursday and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross’s pleas to the Prime Minister’s questions also went unheeded.

However, Premier Nicola Sturgeon said this week that a grace period will be in effect from the start of the program, meaning sites will not be responsible for enforcement actions until October 18, to allow systems to be properly implemented.

Mr Ross said on Friday: “The SNP government has only hours to act quickly and prevent a weekend of chaos at sites across Scotland.

“Thousands of people will be playing football and coming out to the hospitality premises this weekend. At an incredibly difficult time, businesses will lose out if this app still doesn’t work.

“This plan should really be scrapped altogether, but if the SNP insists on moving forward, it must indefinitely delay the vaccination passport program until the most fundamental issues are resolved.

“Nicola Sturgeon needs to get back to the drawing board. It becomes a mess – the SNP scheme falters from problem to problem, all at the very last minute.

“No one should be missing because of SNP’s incompetence. The government should guarantee compensation to any losing person or company only because the SNP cannot provide a working application that has been in development for months.

“The SNP must order an emergency stop of this policy now, before it harms businesses and jobs. So far, they have plowed arrogantly despite everything, against warning after warning from opposition and business.

Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday rejected calls to delay the program after a court gave it the green light (Jeff J Mitchell / PA)

Speaking on the launch of the app, Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney said: “We know from analysis by public health experts that we need to do everything we can to stem the increase in cases. and reduce pressure on the NHS.

“Vaccine certificates have a role to play as part of a larger set of measures. They add an extra layer of protection in certain high risk environments.

“This is a very limited program and we hope this will allow businesses to stay open and avoid any further restrictions as fall and winter approach.

“I encourage people to download the NHS Scotland Covid Status app and help us keep the virus under control. “

Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, an infection expert at the University of Edinburgh, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland show on Friday that the vaccination passport scheme “may persuade some of the hesitant people” to do so. sting, although she also revealed that she couldn’t get the new app to work.

Dr Tait-Burkard said: “Larger studies on international travel have shown that [proof of vaccination] increases the vaccination rate between 5% and 10% in the younger generation, which is exactly what we need.

“And in France, we are seeing that everyday life is increasingly limited by the need to have a vaccination passport, which once again has spurred adoption very clearly.”

But the dean of the Faculty of Lawyers, Roddy Dunlop QC, described the app as “the worst I have ever tried to use”.

He wrote on Twitter: “I am not prone to hyperbole. I promise.

“And I instantly recognize that I was initially tasked with challenging the introduction of Covid passports and therefore I’m not neutral.

“But try the app; look at the comments below. It is, literally, the worst app I have ever tried to use.

Scottish Work for Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: ‘The launch of the Covid status app has been a complete shambles.

“I have already been contacted by several voters complaining that the app crashed into them.

“It’s typical of the SNP to rush this when it clearly isn’t working.

“It’s embarrassing for the Scottish government they need to get the app under control and fix it urgently.”

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