Nicola Sturgeon says she is keeping her options open on whether to introduce Covid vaccine passports domestically in Scotland.
The First Minister said she was “highly cautious” about the use of Covid passports but she wanted to consider whether they could play a role in the future.
As she announced the move beyond level zero on Tuesday, Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was considering “very carefully the possible, albeit limited, use of Covid status certification for access to certain higher risk venues in future”.
An app is under development to allow for such certification for those travelling abroad, she said, but it could also allow for vaccine certification domestically.
Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie and Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur questioned the First Minister about her plans during a virtual session of the Scottish Parliament.
Harvie said the use of vaccine passports “raises human rights implications if our ability to live our lives is dependent on our health status”.
McArthur said: “I’m concerned the government is still humming and hawing about domestic vaccine passports a full nine months after we first pressed them for a decision.”
The First Minister said vaccination did not eliminate all risks from the virus.
Referring to her earlier statement to MSPs, she stressed that no decision on the domestic use of Covid status certification had been taken yet.
She said: “I wasn’t seeking to emphasise it or pull it out as the big next thing that we’re definitely going to do.
“I wanted to be frank with parliament that we are keeping our options open.”
The app would not immediately have functionality for domestic certification but it could be used in the future, she said.
Sturgeon added: “I am highly cautious about Covid passports, to give them the colloquial term, for all the reasons that Patrick Harvie has set out.
“I would be passionately and fundamentally opposed to their use for access to public services or anything that was seen as essential for people.”