The launch of the Scottish Coronavirus Vaccine Passport app has been hit by widespread reports of technical issues.
Members of the public complained that they were unable to get the NHS Scotland Covid Status app to work after it was made available for download on Apple and Android devices on Thursday afternoon.
Evidence of vaccination is now required to access nightclubs and major events in Scotland, although the Scottish Government has agreed a grace period during which the regulation will not be legally enforced.
Addressing reports of a bug with the app, a Holyrood spokesperson suggested that “extremely high initial traffic” was to blame and advised people to “try again a few hours later”.
Users reported being unable to register on the app while others shared screenshots showing that they couldn’t get past the initial login page.
It comes after a court offer by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland to delay the introduction of the vaccination record program was rejected by the Court of Session.
The Dean of the Faculty of Lawyers, Roddy Dunlop QC, who was appointed NTIA representative, described the app as “the worst I’ve ever tried to use.”
“I am not prone to exaggeration. I promise, ”he said. “And I immediately recognize that I was originally instructed to challenge the introduction of Covid passports and that I am therefore not neutral.
“But try out the app; check out the comments below. This is literally the worst app I’ve ever used. “
Former Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw called the launch a “farce” and claimed that the app would be “the SNP government shortly”. Hasty, poorly thought out, ignorant of opposition and basically does not work ”.
Dr. Christine Tait-Burkard, an infection expert at the University of Edinburgh, also announced that she couldn’t get the new app to work when she appeared on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday morning, arguing that the scheme “might convince some of the reluctant people” . to be stung.
“Larger studies on international travel have shown that [proof of vaccination] increases vaccine intake in the younger generation by 5 to 10 percent, which is exactly what we need, ”said Dr. Tait-Burkard.
“And in France we see that daily life is restricted by the need for a vaccine passport, which has once again pushed the admission very clearly.”
Commenting on the launch of the app, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Vaccine certificates play a role as part of a broader package of measures. They add another layer of protection in certain higher risk situations.
“This is a very limited program and we hope it will allow companies to stay open and prevent further restrictions in the fall and winter.”
There are currently no plans to introduce general hospitality certification, but this will be reviewed over the autumn and winter months, according to the Scottish Government.
The rule does not apply to people under the age of 18, participants in vaccine studies, people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and people who work or perform at the venues.
Although the system will not be legally enforced until October 18, the legal obligation for companies to keep information about the certification status confidential and not use it for other purposes came into force on Friday.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Some people may have problems, likely caused by extremely high initial traffic and large numbers of users trying to access the app at the same time.
“We advise people whose data cannot be found to try again a few hours later.”
Additional reporting by PA