Pubs and Bars

Judge denies Scotland vaccine passport scheme challenge

Judge Lord Burns dismissed the challenge, and said the scheme was an attempt to address "legitimate issues" of the pandemic in a "balanced way"

A legal challenge attempting to prevent Scotland’s introduction of a vaccine passport has failed, with the plan now set to go ahead from Friday 1 October, according to The BBC

Judge Lord Burns dismissed the challenge, and said the scheme was an attempt to address “legitimate issues” of the pandemic in a “balanced way”.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced a delay to the plan, allowing for a grace period until 18 October before businesses would face legal action for non-compliance. 

The move came after criticism from the industry and hospitality groups over a lack of clarity, and a legal challenge issued by The Night Time Industries Association (Scotland).. 

However, the judge refused to delay proceedings, and from this Friday people will need proof they have had two doses of vaccine in order to enter nightclubs and many other large events.

QC Lord Keen – a former advocate general for Scotland – argued at the court session that that the system was “discriminatory” against certain venues, and “wholly disproportionate”.

He also argued that until ministers could provide a “coherent explanation” for the scheme, the status quo should be maintained. 

However, on behalf of the Government, QC James Mure argued that the scheme had been drawn up to alleviate the “extreme pressure” the NHS was under. 

Furthermore, he said the scheme helped to keep high-risk venues like clubs open, and to encourage greater uptake of the vaccine.

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