The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said it will take legal action after first minister Nicola Sturgeon today, 22 September, said in Parliament that the plan to make vaccine passports a mandatory condition of entry at events is going ahead. 

The NTIA had previously warned the first minister that she was making an error and that the policy is a “dangerous road” to go down. Chairperson of the NTIA Scotland Commission Mike Grieve wrote an open letter to the first minister outlining the industry’s case against vaccine passports.

Following the first minister’s latest comments, the NTIA said it has instructed its legal team to take action against the Scottish Government with a legal challenge to vaccination passports.

The NTIA’s statement in full:

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.   

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.

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.