Members of the public complained they were unable to get the NHS Scotland Covid Status app to work, after it was made available to download on Apple and Android devices on Thursday afternoon.
The launch of Scotland’s coronavirus vaccine passport app has been hit by widespread reports of technical problems.
Proof of vaccination is now needed to enter nightclubs and large events in Scotland, although the Scottish Government has agreed a grace period during which the scheme will not be legally enforced.
Addressing the reports of a glitch with the app, a Holyrood spokesperson suggested “extremely high initial traffic” was to blame, advising people to “try again a couple of hours later”.
Users reported being unable to register on the app, while others shared screenshots showing they were unable to get past the first log-in page.
It comes after a legal bid by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland to delay the vaccine passport scheme’s rollout was rejected by the Court of Session.
Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Roddy Dunlop QC, who was appointed to represent the NTIA, described the app as “the worst I have ever tried to use”.
“I am not prone to hyperbole. I promise,” he said. “And I instantly recognise that I was originally instructed to challenge the introduction of Covid passports and so am not neutral.
“But try the app; look at the comments below. This is, literally, the worst app I have ever tried to use.”
Former Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw called the launch a “farce”, claiming the app “is the SNP government in a nutshell. Rushed, ill-conceived, ignorant to opposition and fundamentally doesn’t work”.
Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, an infection expert at Edinburgh University, also revealed she had been unable to get the new app to work, as she appeared on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday morning, arguing the scheme “may persuade some of the hesitant people” to get jabbed.
“Larger studies on international travel showed that proof of vaccination is increasing the vaccine uptake between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in the younger generation, which is exactly what we need,” Dr Tait-Burkard said.
“And in France, we see that the more day-to-day life gets curtailed by the need of having a vaccine passport, that has again driven uptake very clearly.”