Revolt launched against hated SNP scheme – Sturgeon ‘bug plagued’ plan branded ‘shambles’

Sajid Javid says vaccine passports ‘will not be going ahead’

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Beleaguered Health Secretary Humza Yousaf blamed “technical glitches” caused by the “large volume of people” downloading the app for the shambles. From 5am on Friday, anyone wanting to attend large events or visit nightclubs north of the border must show proof that they have been double jabbed.

However, the app was only launched on Thursday afternoon and last night people were reporting they still could not get it to work.

Mr Yousaf yesterday admitted there was nothing to stop unvaccinated people going to a nightclub tonight or to a football match this weekend.

Mr Yousaf said: “It’s really once you launch an app live in the real world do you tend to see what the actual effect might be in terms of any glitches or problems and issues within the system so there is an issue that is largely due to the volume of people that have downloaded it, which is positive, there are so many people have, but of course it’s caused a bit of an issue.

“Our team are working rapidly to try to resolve as I say hopefully within hours, but it could be possibly days.”

The SNP led Scottish Government has already been forced to delay the start of legal enforcement of the new rules until October 18.

Meanwhile, a previous push for a delay by the Night Time Industries Association Scotland was rejected by the Court of Session on Thursday and pleas from Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross at First Minister’s Questions also went unheeded.

But Scottish football clubs including Aberdeen FC and Rangers have already said no fan would be turned away from key games this weekend. 

SNP ministers endured a torrid day of criticism from political opponents, the public and even one of the country’s leading legal figures as the scheme was rolled out yesterday. 

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The launch of the Covid status app has been a complete shambles.

“It is typical of the SNP to rush this out when it clearly doesn’t work. This is embarrassing for the Scottish Government, they need to get a grip and fix the app urgently.”

Scottish Conservative Chief Whip, Stephen Kerr MSP, said: “The fact that football clubs are choosing to ignore the SNP’s vaccine passport regulations shows how flawed and impractical this shambolic scheme has already become.

“Scottish businesses and venues have done everything they can to prepare to implement the SNP’s plans – but they are fundamentally unworkable.

“This scheme has been a disaster from the start. Now, on top of everything, businesses and the public are having to contend with a vaccine status app that just doesn’t even work.

“This is a massive own goal from the SNP Government. 

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“The SNP must now order an emergency stop to this policy. They are losing more credibility by the minute, and businesses have no trust in the Government to get this right.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, added: “The Government has had a litany of tech problems during and before this crisis. Once again it cannot even get the basics right. The Information Commissioner should intervene to stop this scheme now.”

Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Roddy Dunlop QC, described the app as the “worst I have ever tried to use” and added on Twitter: “I am not prone to hyperbole, I promise. 

“And I instantly recognise that I was originally instructed to challenge the introduction of Covid passports and so am not neutral.

“But try the app. This is, literally, the worst app I have ever tried to use.”

Last night, the Scottish Government issued an apology over the app launch with a spokesman adding: “More than 70,000 downloaded the app yesterday. This huge demand did mean that some people experienced delays and we are sorry that happened.

“We have now increased the capacity of the NHS systems that sit behind the app – where most of the issues causing delays have occurred – in order to deal with demand and, as a result, we are seeing increasing numbers of people now able to access their records.”

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