Lack of consultation from ScotGov provokes vaccine passport legal challenge from NTIA Scotland

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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland has mounted a legal challenge against the Scottish government after Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday that all licensed premises open between midnight and 5pm and selling alcohol, with live or recorded music for dancing and a designated dance floor, which is in use,  are required to check customers have vaccine passports.

The NTIA said in a statement,This vaccine passport scheme as currently proposed raises serious issues with definition, market distortion, discrimination, resource allocation and economic impact amongst others, and had Scottish Government been prepared to work with sectoral experts in the earliest stages of policy formulation some of these deep rooted problems may have been avoidable.

“It is also clear to us that the policy as currently proposed is neither proportionate, nor represents the lowest level of intervention possible to achieve the public health imperative, and it is therefore likely to be unlawful.  Regrettably then, and given the serious flaws in the policy as proposed, we have now instructed our legal team to commence proceedings against the Scottish Government with a legal challenge to vaccination passports.”

The NTIA says that there has been no ‘meaningful consultation’ between the Scottish government and the industry but is continuing to signal that they are still open to this.

“The NTIA have, along with the other sectoral trade bodies, been engaged in dialogue with government over the last 3 weeks, and whilst unfortunately that dialogue has not in any way resembled a meaningful consultation between government and the sector, we remain ready to work with Scottish Government should they choose to take on board the sector’s concerns and work collaboratively to find a better and more deliverable solution.

“We had hoped that the recent evidence of rapidly falling cases might provide government with the incentive to look again and take the sector’s concerns into account, and to engage in meaningful consultation where government and businesses could work together and design solutions that both address our shared goal of reducing the harms from Covid and are also deliverable.  Unfortunately, this has not happened, however we remain willing to work with Scottish Government on any policy which both achieves our shared goals and also allows businesses to remain economically viable.”

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