Nightclub body launches legal challenge to Scottish vaccine passport plans

23 September 2021 by
Nightclub body launches legal challenge to Scottish vaccine passport plans

A trade body representing nightclubs in Scotland has launched a legal challenge to the Scottish government's plans for vaccine passports.

From 1 October anyone over the age of 18 will need to provide proof of vaccination to gain entry to certain venues and large-scale events.

But the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the policy was "deeply flawed and incoherent" and raised "serious issues" around discrimination and its economic impact.

The group said the scheme did not represent the lowest level of intervention possible to achieve the public health aim, and was therefore "likely to be unlawful". It has instructed its lawyers to commence formal proceedings against the Scottish government.

On Tuesday, first minister Nicola Sturgeon called for a "common sense" approach to the use of Covid status certification.

She set out the definition of a nightclub for inclusion in the scheme as any venue that is open between midnight and 5am, serves alcohol after midnight, provides live or recorded music for dancing and has a designated space for dancing.

However, hospitality trade bodies warned this definition was too broad and could see late-night pubs and bars caught up in the plans.

The NTIA said it had been consulting with the Scottish government for three weeks, but claimed it had not resembled a "meaningful consultation".

Gavin Stevenson, vice-chair for NTIA Scotland, said: "It is with an extraordinary sense of disappointment and frustration that we have commenced legal action against the Scottish government.

"We will of course continue to engage with Scottish government and the joint trade bodies group to try and mitigate damage from this scheme as far as possible in the interim. We also remain more than happy to engage in meaningful consultation with Scottish government should they be prepared to seek more workable alternatives.

"However we cannot accept the current proposals, which would create conditions for our sector that are unworkable and commercially unviable and will inevitably result in business failures."

Further details of the vaccine passport scheme are expected to be set out this week.

Photo: Radyukov Dima/

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