SNP faces crushing setback – Sturgeon could be dragged to court over ‘ridiculous’ scheme

Nicola Sturgeon outlines Scotland lockdown rules over Christmas

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Under the Nats’ plans, proof of being double vaccinated is needed at indoor seated events of 500 people or more, unseated outdoor live events with more than 4,000, and “any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance”. Despite Boris Johnson ruling out the introduction of vaccine passports in England, SNP led Scottish Government ministers say their scheme will go ahead from October 1 with QR codes to be used to confirm a persons vaccination status.

MSPs voted to approve the controversial measures earlier this month after SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the Scottish NHS was under pressure due to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalisations.

But last night, business chiefs branded the proposed plans “discriminatory” and “iniquitous”, which will also apply to nightclubs. 

Donald MacLeod, Managing Director of Holdfast Entertainment Group added: “Across hospitality, there’s a view that this scheme is discriminatory and iniquitous, and will distort the market.”

Mr MacLeod, who runs several Glasgow nightclubs claimed the Scottish Government were “isolating” themselves by introducing the scheme.


He added: “Our FM is an Iron Lady who is sadly not for turning and is fully determined to introduce this ridiculous scheme regardless of the consequences in less than two weeks.

“She is unable or unwilling to provide evidence as the reliability of the QR technology or answer the most basic of questions.”

Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, Scottish Conservative health spokesperson, said the legalisation put forward by the Scottish Government for the plans was “flimsy”, “badly written” and “not practical”.

The Tories opposed the introduction of the controversial measures, but Mr Gulhane added: “This is the problem with this SNP Government, they don’t have joined-up thinking, the plan doesn’t make sense.”

Referring to the vaccine passport scheme, the GP also pointed out to the BBC Sunday Show: “In this country, we are a free country.

“We do everything by consent, we police through consent, I do healthcare by consent.

“We shouldn’t be forcing people to do anything.”

Civil liberty campaigners at Big Brother Watch are crowdfunding to bring forward the legal challenge against the scheme.

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Silkie Carlo, director of the privacy group said the plan would “alienate already marginalised groups in society” and could introduce “modern segregation”.

Ms Carlo also wrote to Mr Yousaf in a joint letter with Liberty and said those discriminated against by the vaccine passports included young people “where uptake is lower and slower due to reduced risk”.

She also said “ethnic minority groups and migrants, particularly black and Asian people, where vaccine access may be lower, hesitancy higher and the risk of exclusion higher” would also be effected.

The case is also expected to include to the Labour-run Welsh Government, whose joined SNP ministers in implementing the scheme on Friday.

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

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