Judge refuses to delay implementation of COVID vaccine passports in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon had announced earlier this week that the scheme would be delayed

A judge has refused to delay the implementation of the COVID vaccine passport scheme in Scotland.

Earlier this week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish government would be delaying its plans for the implementation of the passports as a requirement for entry into the country’s nightclubs, after criticism from many establishments across the country.

As the BBC reports, the delay came after a legal challenge from the Scottish nightlife industry who said the proposal was “discriminatory” and “disproportionate”.

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It has now been revealed that Judge Lord Burns has refused the delay, saying that the implementation of the scheme is a “balanced way” to address “legitimate issues” surrounding the pandemic.

As such, the scheme will come into force from 5am tomorrow morning (October 1) as planned.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon. CREDIT: Getty Images

Earlier this month (September 9) Scottish MPs ruled in favour of the introduction of vaccine passports, with 68 votes for and 55 against.

The plans, introduced this week, mean passports declaring full vaccination status will be needed for those over 18-years-old to enter concerts, nightclubs, venues and big sporting events.

Announcing the planned delay, Sturgeon said: “The government is persuaded that a COVID certification scheme will help us mitigate the risk the virus poses to us over the winter.

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“However, the pragmatic compromise that I have just outlined in relation to a staged introduction of the scheme demonstrates, I hope, that we are listening to business about the practical challenges they face.”

Following the initial announcement of the passport scheme, the Night Time Industry Association CEO Michael Kill said the vote “has put an already fragile nighttime economy on a ‘dangerous path’ to devastation”.

“The call for evidence from the Scottish government has been ignored, and has left us no option but to challenge this, as an industry in the coming weeks, or we will suffer the catastrophic consequences of ill thought out policy,” he added.

In England, meanwhile, the plan for vaccine passports for nightclubs, sporting events and large live music events has also been scrapped.

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