VACCINE PASSPORTS: Night clubs who fail to comply placed at risk of prosecution as they would be committing a criminal offence.

The Night Time Industries Association was seeking an interim order to stop the measures.

The organisation’s lawyer, Lord Keen of Elie QC, pictured centre left, told the Court of Session on Wednesday that the scheme was “unlawful”, “irrational” and “disproportionate”.

Lord Keen said his clients also feared that if they didn’t comply with the scheme, they would be placed at risk of prosecution as they would be committing a criminal offence.

But the Scottish Government’s lawyer, James Mure QC, told the court the Holyrood administration hadn’t acted unlawfully. 

He said the scheme would encourage young adults to get vaccinated and help stop the transmission of the virus.

Lord Burns agreed with the submissions made by Mr Mure and refused to grant the order sought by the club owners.

He said: “I do not accept that the petitioners have demonstrated that the scheme, as set out in these documents, is disproportionate, irrational, or unreasonable such as it contravenes the terms of the Coronavirus Act 2020 or it represents a breach of the petitioners rights.

“The scheme as it is set out is an attempt to address the legitimate issues identified in a balanced way. It was made subject to the scrutiny by the Covid Recovery Committee of the regulations and pending evidence.

“The provision for frequent review will allow monitoring of these measures and the impact of the transmission of the virus.

“It is in my view not for the court to prevent that process from being completed on the basis of the criticisms or the decisions made by in this petition.”

FM Nicola Sturgeon, right, explained that although that although the scheme comes into effect on Friday, it will not be until October 18 that any business could face enforcement action for non-compliance.

Vaccine passports will be required for entry into nightclubs, as well as indoor live events with more than 500 people unseated and outdoor live events with more than 4000 people unseated.

Any event attended by a crowd of more than 10,000 people will also require a vaccine passport for entry.

A Scottish Conservative attempt to halt their introduction was defeated at the Scottish Parliament earlier this week.

The Tories had argued that the Government had failed to listen to concerns from the nighttime industry about the scheme.

However, Douglas Ross’s motion was voted down following a debate in Holyrood on Wednesday.

Labour and the Lib Dems supported the Scottish Conservative motion while the SNP and Greens opposed it.

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