Tomorrow’s cinch Premiership fixture against Motherwell will be used as a trial run for COVID passport checks and no supporters will be refused entry for failing to produce a vaccination certificate.
Scottish football clubs hosting matches where more than 10,000 people attend are legally required to implement a spot-checking system to ensure supporters have proof of double vaccination or exemption prior to entry.
While the Scottish Government have confirmed the rule will not be enforced until 18 October, we are to use the grace period “to test, adapt and build confidence in the practical arrangements”. As such, tomorrow’s cinch Premiership fixture against Motherwell will see us trial the new arrangements and all supporters will be admitted to Tynecastle, regardless of whether they have proof of vaccination or not.
The trial run will enable us to gather data and supporter feedback with a view to minimising disruption once the grace period ends on October 18th.
The scheme will be fully implemented from October 18th onwards and from that point forward, any person failing to prove their vaccine certification or exemption status will, in compliance with the law, unfortunately be refused entry.
Getting Your Proof of Vaccination
There have been media reports today regarding some issues with the new NHS Scotland COVID status app. Rest assured we will also accept digital and paper copies of your vaccine status.
Your vaccine certificate can be accessed by clicking here.
Information on how to download and use the COVID status app can be accessed by clicking here.
Further information on the COVID certificate scheme can be accessed by clicking here.
Supporters attending from the rest of the UK and the broader Common Travel Area (including Republic of Ireland) will be able to use their existing Covid Status apps with QR Codes or paper-based certificates. Visitors from outside the UK can use proof of vaccination from the country they were vaccinated in.
Entry To The Stadium:
In line with the legislation, we will be performing random spot checks at entry points to all four stands. Supporters are strongly encouraged to arrive early at Tynecastle on Saturday (turnstiles will open at 1.30pm) ideally with a hard copy of their vaccine certificate. Digital copies will also be accepted.
We will do all we can to ensure that these random mandatory spot checks are completed quickly.
These spot checks will obviously add time to some supporters entering the stadium. To avoid delays entering the stadium we would kindly ask that supporters have their certificate ready and arrive in plenty of time before kick-off.
The following groups of supporters are exempt:
- participants in vaccine trials
- under 18s
- those who cannot be vacccinated for medical reasons
Under 18’s will be able to use their season ticket or match ticket as proof of age, as these have been checked at point of purchase and are clearly marked with age categories.
Fans who are medically exempt or are participating in vaccine trials should carry proof of this. CLICK HERE to view Scottish Government information regarding what will be accepted as Proof of Exemption. We share supporters’ frustrations with the timings of information coming through on exemptions, it would have been helpful to everyone to have this information earlier than the day before the game.
A number of supporters have contacted us with regard to being able to use the image below, or a version of it as ‘proof of exemption’.
The Scottish Government have given us firm guidance that this cannot be accepted by venues as ‘proof of exemption’. They advised that the Scottish Parliament has approved the use of Coronavirus vaccination certificates to enter some events and higher risk venues. This will be a legal requirement following changes to the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021. The regulations were published on the parliament website - SI/SR Template (parliament.scot).
We will of course adhere to our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 when implementing the spot checks.
Hearts would like to once again emphasise that we are obliged to follow Scottish Government legislation and we thank supporters for their understanding and cooperation.
The backing from the stands so far this season has been second to none and everyone at Hearts looks forward to welcoming another large crowd to Tynecastle on Saturday as the Jambos look to build on their undefeated start to the league season.