HUMZA Yousaf admitted it could be a “matter of days” before issues with Scotland’s new vaccination passport application are resolved.
The NHS Scotland Covid Status app was made available for download on Apple and Android devices just 12 hours before the program launched at 5 a.m. yesterday.
But within hours, frustrated users were told “something went wrong” or “no matches found”.
The health secretary has since accepted that the issues are “frustrating” but said the “grace period” means no one should be turned away from nightclubs or football stadiums as a result.
This is not a good start for Scotland’s new passport application for covid vaccines. pic.twitter.com/6AiSi0Yqi7
– Rebecca Cook (@itsrebeccacook) September 30, 2021
The Scots will be asked for proof that they have received two doses of the Covid vaccine to enter nightclubs and many other big events.
The grace period, after consultation with companies, means that the regime will not be legally applied until October 18.
Mr Yousaf told BBC Scotland yesterday: “I know it’s frustrating because a lot of people have downloaded the app.
“I regret any inconvenience caused to anyone, whether private or business, but that shouldn’t stop you from going about your business over the next few days.
“Overall the issues are due to the volume of traffic, but what I would say if you’re having any persistent issues, don’t hesitate to call the Covid helpline.
“We always test these things before they go live and we have, but in fact, once they go online, in the real world, there can be these issues and I hope these issues should be resolved – hopefully within a few hours, but it might just be a matter of days. ”
Scottish Tories have insisted the program should be delayed indefinitely to avoid a ‘weekend of chaos’ due to issues with the app, which helps individuals prove their double hit status.
Scottish Labor spokesperson for health, Jackie Baillie, said the launch of the app had been a “complete shambles”.
She said: “I have already been contacted by several voters complaining that the app crashed into them.
“It’s typical of the SNP to rush this when it clearly isn’t working.
“It’s embarrassing for the Scottish government they need to get the app under control and fix it urgently.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The launch has been chaotic. Thousands of attempts to access Covid ID cards have reached the stamps. ”
He said the Information Commissioner should step in “to stop this scheme now”.
Speaking to Bauer Radio, Mr Yousaf added: “If you are planning on going out to a nightclub tonight or going to football on the weekends, go anyway, because of course we have delayed the night. ‘application of the certification system because we wanted to make sure that the system had time to set up, to set up, to test.
“Therefore, there is nothing in the regulations that means you should be turned away from the nightclub door or the turnstiles this weekend.”
For those who continue to have problems, the Scottish Government has said that an online portal that provides individuals with a PDF version of their certificate is still accessible through NHS Inform.
A Scottish government spokesperson said: ‘Over 70,000 people downloaded the app yesterday.
“This huge demand has meant that some people have experienced delays and we are sorry that has happened.
“We have now increased the capacity of the NHS systems that are behind the app – where most of the issues causing delays have occurred – in order to keep up with the demand and as a result we are seeing an increasing number of people now able to access their records. ”