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Covid passports: Swinney insists ‘system is functioning well’ but some people may still need to rely on paper copies

Scotland's Deputy First Minister has spoken following trouble with the Covid passport app. Photo by Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail/PA Wire

Covid Recovery Secretary John Swinney has insisted the new vaccine passport app is “functioning well” – despite thousands of people claiming they could not sign up.

Following the launch of the NHS Scotland Covid Status app on Thursday afternoon, thousands took to social media to complain that they were met with error messages.

The app has been launched to allow Scots to prove their vaccination status to venues who require them to be double jabbed.

Mr Swinney, who is also deputy first minister, today insisted the initial “teething problems” have now been resolved, and said the system was working well over the weekend.

Scots have suffered “teething issues” with the new Covid passport app. Supplied by Shutterstock.

He told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “The early hours were slow because of the demand on the system but up until 4pm yesterday (Sunday), 280,000 QR codes have been downloaded through the app.”

However, he admitted a “small number of cases” are yet to be resolved, and that those affected “are going to have to use a paper copy” – which will not be phased out unlike the PDF versions that have been available to download.

It comes as complaints from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) highlighted “chaos and confusion on the streets outside Scotland’s clubs” during the first weekend of the app’s use.

Chairman Mike Grieve told Good Morning Scotland that Friday night meant “almost everyone we spoke to said no idea what was required”.

App aims to increase vaccination levels in ‘high risk’ venues

When challenged on whether or not the app was “discriminatory” toward those who do can’t provide a driving license or passport – a requirement to register for the app – Mr Swinney said “not in any shape or form”, pointing out that paper copies were available.

On the purpose of the scheme, Mr Swinney stressed that the aim was to increase vaccination levels in those more who are “active in high risk venues” which is why vaccine status has been favored over providing a negative test to club bouncers.

John Swinney

“If we focus intensely on making sure that we maximise the level of double vaccinated people in higher risk venues, two things can happen,” he said.

“One, we can make sure that people are protected as they possibly can be and two, these venues can remain open in challenging times.

“And we probably will have challenging times ahead as we go into winter and we want to make sure that the night time industries who had a really hard time are able to operate.”

Mr Swinney also acknowledged the controversy surrounding those who are medically except from getting double jabbed.

“In those circumstances there would be some form of validation for the individual to demonstrate that they were eligible to gain access under those circumstances,” he explained.

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