SCOTLAND's Covid passport scheme will not be extended to hospitality venues, the First Minister has confirmed. 

The Scottish Government previously said it would be considering whether vaccination passports should be extended to more venues, including theatres and cinemas, but the Cabinet decided today (Tuesday) that wouldn't be happening at the moment. 

Current measures for nighttime premises will continue for another three weeks. 

In a U-turn by Nicola Sturgeon, she told the Scottish Parliament this afternoon: "This was a very, very finely balanced decision, but I can confirm at this stage that we have decided not to extend the scope of the scheme. 

"Although our situation is precarious cases are currently stable and indeed are slightly declining. 

"We have considered the impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses and concluded that at this stage extension would not be proportionate."

In the Covid-19 update this afternoon, Sturgeon pressed for the public to get vaccinated or get a booster when they are offered and continue to get tested.

Moving into a season where social mixing will be more likely, she also asked the country not just to take a lateral flow test twice a week, but make an extra effort to take one before they are socialising with others. 

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “It’s a relief that Ministers have taken on board the evidence from the FSB and others. Extending the vaccine passport scheme would have meant many local and independent Scottish hospitality and leisure firms making big changes to how they operate during a key trading period. These businesses will now have a weight off their shoulders.

“Feedback from our members showed that small cafés, restaurants and similar operators were worried that the extension would have put pressure on staff and driven up costs. It would have undermined many of these firms’ plans for the festive period, many of whom are amongst the businesses hardest hit by this crisis.

“We agree with the First Minister that citizens, government and businesses of all sizes have a role in keeping this virus under control. That’s why we’d urge all smaller firms to look again at the current covid rules and ask themselves if they’re doing everything in their power to play their part.”