Scottish vaccine passport scheme launches after NTIA legal challenge rejected

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Government move: Scottish Covid passports come into force today
Government move: Scottish Covid passports come into force today

Related tags Scotland Legislation Licensing

Scotland's vaccine passport scheme starts today after court action by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) was rejected.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) launched a legal challenge​ against the Scottish government over its lack of consultation on vaccination passports.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in the Scottish parliament that the decision by the Court of Session was to reject the application for interim interdict. 

“Therefore, let me summarise and paraphrase the reasons that were given for that rejection: the scheme had been consulted on; there had been an opportunity to take part in the consultation; the scheme that was introduced was not “disproportionate, irrational or unreasonable”; it was reasonable to bring in the phased approach; there was no discrimination; and, in summary, the scheme attempted to address legitimate concerns in a reasonable and “balanced way,” she said. 

'Deeply disappointed'

The NTIA Scotland responded to the ruling. It said: “we are deeply disappointed that this policy will now proceed.” 

“We will continue to challenge Scottish Government on this issue as we start to address the practical and physical challenges presented by the implementation of Covid passports across Scotland. Our position as to the wider legitimacy of the scheme is preserved, and we continue to take legal advice on our options. 

“Meanwhile, it is essential that Scottish government substantially increase efforts to communicate with the general public to increase awareness of the real impact this will have across the whole nightlife environment in Scotland starting from Friday 1 October.” 

Meanwhile, Holyrood’s Covid-19 Recovery Committee said that regular evidence of the Covid vaccination certification scheme’s continued necessity must be provided by the Scottish government.   

Information campaign

In the letter to John Swinney MSP, deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for Covid Recovery, the committee asked the Scottish government to put in place a public information campaign to help people understand the scheme and how to use it. It also called on the government to set out a winter plan in order to “enable businesses to adequately prepare” for any further measures that may be required.

Speaking as the letter was published, committee convener, Siobhian Brown MSP, said: “Ahead of the introduction of the vaccine certification scheme, our committee has heard from a range of witnesses. 

“It is clear there are some concerns about how this will work in practice, which is why we are calling on the government to undertake a wide ranging public information campaign. 

“It also has to be clear to the committee the decision making processes around the continued use of the scheme. In today’s letter, we are clear about the need to provide evidence on the impact of transmission and of the effect this is having on the sectors using the scheme.”

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