Club pilots will challenge 'misconceptions' about sector

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pilot events: the Event Research Programme will see individuals participate in a controlled event without social distancing (image: Getty/Evgeny Sergeev)
Pilot events: the Event Research Programme will see individuals participate in a controlled event without social distancing (image: Getty/Evgeny Sergeev)

Related tags: Nightclub, Liverpool, Government, Club, Music

Late night sector event pilots will help prove that large participation events can return safely, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said.

Government pilots are currently taking place to test how events such as music festivals and nightclubs could make a return when restrictions lift this summer.

The nightclub sector is hoping it will be able to reopen from 21 June, under step four of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, after more than a year of enforced closure.

Trials are examining the efficacy of coronavirus safety measures such as lateral flow testing to see if social distancing rules can be abolished.

The Event Research Programme is running between 10 and 15 pilots in April and May across a variety of venues including cinemas, sports venues and nightclubs.

Those participating will have to be tested upon entry with the suspension of other measures such as face coverings and social distancing. 

Misconceptions

NTIA boss Michael Kill said: "Throughout this pandemic we have fought for the opportunity to open the doors of thousands of businesses up and down the country, and during the period of lockdown have access to proportionate levels of financial support, saving jobs and businesses during this crisis.”

The sector has come up against “misconceptions and ill informed decision making” since the first lockdown of March 2020 and has suffered from policymaker’s “lack of knowledge” on the sector, Kill added. 

"The Event Research Programme in part is broadly about education, and the opportunity for key decision makers to understand these environments first hand to then be able to make informed decisions on how a range of businesses can be managed out of this situation, and open safely,” he said.

Discriminatory barriers

Kill continued: "The only way to effectively save jobs and businesses is by opening the doors of the industry, but the facilitation of disproportionate measures which will in any way create unnecessary divisive or discriminatory barriers for our customers, impractical operational conditions or create unnecessary or extensive investment during this difficult financial period will continue to be scrutinised by ourselves at every level."

Events in the programme include one at the Circus Nightclub, Liverpool and the BRIT Awards in London.

Higher-risk 

The Guardian​ has echoed reports in The​ Daily Mail​ from earlier in the week claiming that the Government will not introduce vaccine passports in pubs.

The newspaper quotes a Whitehall source as saying officials had chosen to focus on "higher-risk settings that are not open and big events” and move away from considering a passport system in smaller spaces like pubs.

However, there has been backlash from some voices in the nightclub and large event sector about the proposition to introduce such Covid certification checks. 

Customers would be asked to show proof of vaccination, antibodies from a recent infection or a negative test result.

Related topics: Health & safety

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