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by Louise Wilson
30 September 2021
Douglas Ross criticises vaccine passport plans as judge refuses to delay scheme

Douglas Ross criticises vaccine passport plans as judge refuses to delay scheme

Douglas Ross has labelled plans to introduce vaccine passports a “complete farce” and urged the Scottish Government to delay the scheme.

But Nicola Sturgeon, responding at First Minister’s Questions, argued that while the plans were “far from ideal”, they were an important step in keeping levels of the virus down.

Regulations requiring larger venues check the vaccination status of customers before entry are set to come into force on Friday at 5am.

Earlier on Thursday, the Court of Session ruled against a challenge from affected businesses who had argued the scheme was “discriminatory” and “disproportionate”.

Lord Burns concluded it was “an attempt to address the legitimate issues identified in a balanced way”.

He added it was subject to scrutiny at the parliament and would be reviewed by ministers regularly.

The Scottish Government also confirmed earlier this week that the scheme would not be enforced until 18 October to give businesses enough time to get used to the arrangements.

The Scottish Conservative leader said this proved the scheme was “not ready”.

Ross argued MSPs had not been given sufficient time to properly scrutinise the regulations, adding there was even a “lack of understanding from the SNP about their own policy”.

He said: “Businesses have never had a tougher time than right now, but they’re getting guidance on vaccine passports at the very last minute and the evidence case for them – if it can be called that because there’s barely any evidence for this policy – appeared before a Scottish Parliament committee for the first time this morning.

“There are so many flaws littered throughout this scheme and proper consideration hasn’t taken place.”

The First Minister welcomed the Court of Session ruling, adding: “This is a targeted and proportionate way to try to reduce the harm that the virus will do over the winter months, while keeping our economy fully open, fully functioning and fully trading.

“The judgement from the court this morning recognises both those reasons and the way in which the government has gone about this.”


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