Immunity proof would damage 69% of night-time operators

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Shuttered trade: nightclubs have been closed since the first lockdown in March 2020 (image: Getty anyaberkut)
Shuttered trade: nightclubs have been closed since the first lockdown in March 2020 (image: Getty anyaberkut)

Related tags: Night-time economy, Late night operator, Legislation, Health and safety, Government

More than two thirds (69%) of firms in the night-time sector have expressed concern that vaccine passports, requirements to provide proof of testing or immunity, would have a negative impact on their businesses, according to research.

The survey of 700 night-time businesses from the Night-Time Industry Association (NTIA) also revealed 70% felt Covid-status certification and the like were not necessary to open their event or premises safely.

The potential use of immunity proof is being used as part of a pilot events scheme from the Government whereby a circa 3,000 person event will take place at Circus Nightclub in Liverpool for an indoor club night on Friday 30 April.

Covid-status certification will be trialled as part of the pilot programme.

Deep concern

“The confirmation the outdoor hospitality will reopen on Monday 12 April in line with the Government’s strategy is welcomed but there remains deep concerns about the measures required for all businesses to reopen on Monday 21 June without social contact,” NTIA boss Michael Kill said.

“The positive news from the roadmap has been overshadowed by the potential impact of Covid-status certificates being implemented by the Government for businesses to allow for the ease of social contact restrictions, with the overwhelming majority of UK nightlife sector believing the measures will have a detrimental impact on trade.

“There is a stark disparity between the way night-time economy businesses and other industries are being treated by the Government, made even clearer by the Prime Minister’s suggestion that pubs, restaurants, hotels and public transport will be excluded from proposed measures presented around Covid-status certification.”

He went on to highlight how Government information has caused confusion and concern among the sector.

Frustrated businesses

Kill added: “If retail, supermarkets, public transport, hotels, pubs and restaurants are excluded from the use of Covid-status certification, with many of these businesses displaying similar contact and proximity environments, why would nightclubs and other environments be expected to ask customers to present Covid-status certification as a prerequisite or requirement of entry?

“Initial feedback from consumers is many are not comfortable using health information to gain access to venues or events in the UK, and the use of certification will discourage customers from attending these environments in the future.

“Businesses are likewise frustrated at the way in which the Government is communicating these potential restrictions – with many feeling a considerable number of questions left unanswered.

“These businesses have suffered extreme financial hardship for more than 12 months and are desperate to open but have been left feeling uncertain once again following a Government announcement.”

Related topics: Health & safety

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