Speaking following the news, Peter Marks, CEO of the UK’s leading nightclub operators Rekom UK, said the timing of the news was unexpected, but he’d hoped common sense would win out.
“I’d always believed that what was proposed was not deliverable, and we believed that we’d made a good case to government both via the media and trade bodies, and you had to think to yourself, surely commonsense would prevail, but we’re talking about politicians and trying to deal with covid 19 and public opinion and there’s not a lot of commonsense, but we kept feeling surely it isn’t going to be this bad.
“However, I certainly didn’t expect it this weekend, and I certainly didn’t expect it in such clear terms, marvellous news.”
The U-turn decision was announced on Sunday (12 September) with health secretary Sajid Javid saying the Government was scrapping plans for Covid vaccine passports for entry into nightclubs and large events in England.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Javid said: “We’ve looked at it properly and while we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
“All the WhatsApp groups that I’m in, including everyone in the sector, live events, just one collective cheer went up,” said Marks.
He said the decision would give the sector more certainty and that while business had certainly boomed since the sector was allowed to start trading in July, but they were still operating under a “what if” situation with regard to the passports and the impact it would have.
“As a result, we’ve been carefully storing out cash so we don’t run out of money. What this does is deliver a fair result where we can continue to be an important part of the town centre and night-time economy, but we can also start planning now to rebuild our business. So it couldn’t be more welcome.”
To hear Marks’ full thoughts on the situation, watch the video above.