COVID Status: Guidance common questions

Events and late night venues

Which venues can ask me to show my COVID Status?

You'll only be asked to show your COVID Status in the following settings:

  • late night venues
  • live indoor events with over 500 unseated people in the audience
  • live outdoor events with over 4,000 people in the audience
  • all events with over 10,000 people in the audience

A late night venue means it:

  • is open between midnight and 5.00am
  • serves alcohol after midnight
  • provides live or recorded music for dancing
  • has a designated space that is used for dancing

Your COVID Status must show you're fully vaccinated.

It's your responsibility to check the entry rules for venues and events before you go.

Who is exempt from showing their COVID Status?

The following people are exempt:

  • under 18s
  • participants in vaccine trials
  • people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons
  • people working or performing in the venues
  • emergency services responders and regulators carrying out their work

If you're under 18 you are not required to prove your COVID Status. You may be asked to provide proof of your age if the venue asks.

How do I prove my COVID Status at a venue?

To prove your COVID Status you can:

All these options have a 2D barcode (QR code) that can be scanned by the COVID Check app to show that your COVID Status is genuine.

If your paper or PDF copy of your COVID Status does not have a 2D barcode, please download or request a replacement.

What is a 2D barcode (QR code)?

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes, often called Quick Response (QR) codes, look like squares or rectangles that contain lots of small, individual dots.

A single 2D barcode can hold a significant amount of information that can only be read by a machine.

What happens when my 2D barcode (QR code) is scanned?

The operator scans your 2D barcode using the camera on their device. The app checks your barcode is genuine and shows personal data about your COVID Status to the operator. The data is not stored not transferred anywhere in this process. No other personal or health data is accessed by the operator.

The operator can then decide if you should be allowed access to the venue. The operator will be a member of staff at the venue.

I live elsewhere in the UK. How can I prove my COVID Status at a venue?

You can use the:

  • NHS COVID PASS app (England and Wales)
  • COVID NI app (Northern Ireland)
  • paper letter of certification issued by England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Jersey or Guernsey
I live outwith the UK. How can I prove my COVID Status at a venue?

EU Covid Certificates are accepted.

If you're from other nations, such as the USA, you should use the same proof of vaccination within Scotland that you used to enter the UK.

My business needs to check if an individual is fully vaccinated before allowing entry. How do I do this?

There's a separate app for your staff to use.

NHS Scotland COVID Check app for businesses

Testing

Why can’t I access my testing or immunity status?

Testing and immunity data for international travel will be included on your COVID Status in due course.

Immunity status means you've recently tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Vaccinations

Can my GP give me a vaccination status quicker?

Do not contact your GP practice about your coronavirus vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your coronavirus vaccination status.

Exemptions

Medical

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

If you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you cannot yet use the app to show proof of exemption.

How do I know if I’m exempt for medical reasons?

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

If you're unsure if you can be vaccinated, you can get advice either:

I think I should be exempt, how do I get confirmation of this?

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

If you think you cannot receive the vaccine for a medical reason, your local vaccination centre or the COVID Status Helpline (0808 196 8565) can:

  • answer questions you may have
  • can advise on what arrangements may be put in place so you can be vaccinated safely

If you've done this, and you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you'll receive a secure paper exemption certificate in the post.

You should not contact your GP directly about an exemption certificate. GPs cannot provide exemption certificates.

This information applies to Scotland. For English information, read COVID-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated

What are the reasons for medical exemption?

Examples of medical exemptions are:

  • where you cannot take a certain medication as it will cause you harm (medical contraindications), for example a severe allergic reaction to the range of vaccines
  • people at certain stages of end of life care

If vaccination is not straightforward for you, you can get advice on what arrangements may be put in place so you can be vaccinated safely. Ask your local vaccination centre or phone the COVID Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565. If you've done this, and you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you'll receive a secure paper exemption certificate in the post.

Exemptions are temporary because things may change in future. For example, new vaccines and support to be vaccinated may become available, or your circumstances change.

Can I get an exemption for ethical or religious reasons?

Medical exemptions are only available on medical grounds.

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. These people are eligible for exemption.

Read the full list of ingredients for each type of vaccine

How will exemptions be displayed?

A secure paper exemption certificate will be sent to people who are exempt for medical reasons. The certificate has security features.

If you have an exemption certificate, you can show it to enter venues in Scotland where you have to prove your COVID Status. Staff checking your COVID Status in events and venues are familiar with exemption certificates.

Vaccination status can also be requested for international travel.

I’m medically exempt from vaccination and I’m visiting Scotland from another country. What do I do?

Secure and validated exemption certificates from outside Scotland will be accepted for countries where a recognised medical exemption process that involves clinical judgement is in place.

Will my medical exemption work outside of Scotland?

Discussions are still ongoing with the UK Government and international partners on exemptions for people who cannot receive authorised COVID-19 vaccinations.

In the meantime, people intending to travel should check that vaccination status is a requirement of the country they are visiting on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages, as PCR testing is also widely accepted.

Clinical trial participants

I’ve been part of a clinical trial what do I do to get evidence of vaccination status?

If you have participated in coronavirus vaccine clinical trials in Scotland, you should have already received a letter from the Principal Investigator on your study confirming your involvement.

Your letter allows you to attend events or access services throughout the UK in the same way as those who are fully vaccinated.

Read Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status for clinical trial participants

Feedback and further questions

We’re working to make sure the app works as well as possible for you. You can help us to improve the app for everyone by:

  • giving us your feedback
  • reporting any technical problems you’ve experienced while using the app