Cop26 delegates will not need vaccine passports despite Scottish rules

Reports suggest move has angered hospitality bosses in Scotland

Delegates at Cop26 will be asked to take daily lateral flow tests to enter the venue for the UN climate change summit. AFP
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Cop26 delegates will be exempt from the Scottish government’s vaccine passport requirement and will instead be asked to take a lateral flow test each day.

In a move which has said to have angered hospitality bosses, about 30,000 delegates will be allowed to enter the main conference – Scottish Event Campus – and fringe events without showing proof of having had two jabs. Instead, guests will be asked to take a daily lateral flow device test and provide a negative result.

Under a Scottish government scheme launched last Friday, full vaccination against Covid is required to attend events with more than 10,000 people, as well as nightclubs and unseated indoor events with more than 500 attendees.

The introduction of the rule was racked by teething problems as the mobile phone app used to prove inoculation suffered failures. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, apologised to Scots who were unable to access their records on the app, which led to several venues not asking for proof of jabs over the weekend.

About 30,000 people are expected to the visit the UN climate change conference in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12. The Scotsman newspaper reported that the Scottish Hospitality Group was angered by the vaccine passport exemption for Cop26.

Meanwhile, Cop26 President Alok Sharma said the bold climate change warnings put forward by Greta Thunberg should be heeded by world leaders, who should take action to protect the environment.

Mr Sharma, a senior Conservative MP, admitted he felt “really uncomfortable” when he first heard the Swedish activist speak in 2019. But he said this was because the teenager had held a mirror up to his generation and highlighted why they needed to act.

Mr Sharma made the admission during a conversation with Stanley Johnson, father of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Ms Thunberg, 18, last month took a dig at Mr Johnson by quoting parts of his speeches on climate change and adding “blah, blah, blah”.

The prime minister’s father referred to himself as “very pro-Greta”, saying: “I thought she did a fantastic job … she’s helped mobilise the young and it’s the young who are going to live through this.”

Turning to Cop26, he then asked Mr Sharma: “What about Greta, can we manage to get Greta somehow?”

Mr Sharma replied: “Last week I was in Milan where we held a youth climate event and we had 400 youth delegates coming together from 200 countries and Greta spoke at this.

“It was the wake-up call for world leaders and the reality is that the decisions that this set of world leaders make is going to impact most on your children and your grandchildren and that’s why we need to get it right.

“Their message at this event was very clear: we need world leaders to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”

He said: “Greta Thunberg, I first heard her speak at the UN General Assembly in 2019, I was there together with the prime minister and I felt really uncomfortable.

“Not because of Greta speaking, but because of what she was saying – and she was holding a mirror up to my generation, our generation, and that’s why we need Cop26 to be a success.

“We need the biggest emitters – the G20 is responsible for 80 per cent of emissions – to step up to the plate and deliver in Glasgow.”

Updated: November 22, 2021, 9:02 AM