Work on a coronavirus vaccine certification system should be put on hold until Parliament has had a chance to debate it, Willie Rennie has said.
The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader’s comments came after he took an “invigorating” karate lesson in the Meadows, Edinburgh, as campaigning continues for the election on May 6.
The Scottish Government is working on a digital system which would allow people to prove their Covid vaccination status and provide other data, in preparation for an international requirement for so-called Covid passports.
Speaking to the PA news agency on Friday, Rennie said: “I think the plan should be delayed at least until we get a chance to debate it properly in the Parliament, to explore how far this is going to go.
“I think it’s going to be an expensive administrative process and it’s also going to divide society.
“Lots of people have made huge sacrifices over the last year but they’ve also not had the vaccine, so why should they be left out of accessing wider services?
“So let’s call a halt to this just now until we can have a wider debate in Parliament.”
Earlier, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said discussions on a potential certification system are ongoing.
The digital system currently being developed would allow people to show if they have been vaccinated, recently had a negative test, or have natural immunity after a previous Covid infection.
Prof Leitch told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme: “We’re also working on a digital solution to ‘Who’s been tested, who’s been vaccinated?’
“But the more important question is what does that mean, and that’s not really for clinical advisers, that’s really for policy leaders and politicians – about what it will allow you to do.
“And the private sector, the airlines and others who will make choices about who they allow on the plans or who they allow into their institutions.”