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. Alternatively, you can show record of a negative test in the last 24 hours.

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 or tested 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 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 QR code, please download or request a replacement.

What is a QR code?

Quick Response (QR) codes look like squares or rectangles that contain lots of small, individual dots.

A single QR code can hold a significant amount of information that can only be read by a machine.

What happens when my QR code is scanned?

The operator scans your QR code using the camera on their device. The app checks your QR code 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
  • record of a negative test (LFD or PCR) within the last 24 hours
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 or record of a negative test (LFD or PCR) within the last 24 hours.

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

How do I get record of a negative test?

Order or collect packs of lateral flow device (LFD) tests to do at home.

After you've taken the test, report your result. You’ll be asked to opt in to receive your result confirmation by text and email. If your result is negative, you can show this text or email to enter events and late night venues instead of your COVID Status. Your test must have been taken in the last 24 hours to be able to enter.

How can I show record of a negative test?

You can show record of a negative test with either:

  • your confirmation email electronically (for example on a smartphone)
  • your confirmation text electronically (for example on a mobile phone)
  • a print out of your confirmation email
  • a print out of your confirmation text

Please do not take your used test or a photo of your test to show record of your result, this will not be accepted.

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 or tested for medical reasons.

If you cannot be vaccinated or tested 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 or tested for medical reasons.

If you're unsure if you can be vaccinated or tested, 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 or tested for medical reasons.

If you think you cannot receive the vaccine or test 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 or tested safely

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

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 or tested 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 or tested for medical reasons, this exemption will be from both testing and vaccination.

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 from vaccination and testing for medical reasons (issued from December 2021). The certificate has security features.

If you have an exemption certificate from both testing and vaccination, 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.

What if I'm exempt and cannot take a test for medical reasons?

There are a very small number of people in Scotland who for medical reasons are both unable to be vaccinated and unable to take a test. These people will have received an exemption certificate, this exemption will be from both testing and vaccination. You can show an exemption certificate (issued from December 2021 onwards) to enter venues in Scotland where you have to prove your COVID Status or show record of a negative test. Vaccination-only exemptions are not valid for domestic use.

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.

Vaccination-only exemptions are not valid for domestic use, an exemption is only valid for both vaccination and testing.

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