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NTIA launches legal challenge against Scottish COVID-19 passport scheme

Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland is launching a legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 ID card policy which comes into effect from October 1. 

The group, which represents the night time sector and associated industries, is initiating the action in a bid to challenge the introduction of cards that will force people to prove they have been fully vaccinated in order to enter nightclubs and live events. 

Responding to the NTIA Scotland’s legal challenge, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Rather than recognise that COVID ID cards are not an effective or proportionate solution, the Scottish Government have expanded the scope of the policy sucking in a host of venues who did not expect to be included. 

“No wonder the night time industry is in uproar. They’re being treated as disposable by the Government.” 

NTIA Scotland is reportedly requesting a court order to delay the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine passport scheme until its case can be heard. 

Earlier this month, Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted in favour of implementing the vaccine passport scheme in Scotland for nightclubs and large events. 

MSPs voted 68 to 55 in favour of the scheme. It will apply to venues such as nightclubs, unseated indoor live events with more than 4,000 people, unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people present and any event with a capacity of more than 10,000, including sports matches.

The Scottish Government has also drawn up a definition of what constitutes a nightclub. 

It says that a venue which is open between midnight and 05:00am, serves alcohol, has a designated area for dancing and provides live or recorded music for people to dance to, is a nightclub and will have to take part in the scheme. 

Cole-Hamilton added: “The Scottish Government should cut their losses and plough the resources that are going into this wasteful scheme into fixing our testing and tracing operation and ringing all of those who have yet to have two doses of the vaccine to encourage them to book an appointment.” 

Image: Antoine Julien on Unsplash