Plans to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs are flawed and will be a “financial disaster”, according to key industry voices.
Although the government has insisted it “works closely with organizations that manage large, crowded spaces,” Luke Laws, who runs the Fabric superclub, says no one can explain how it will work.
“We have no idea of the details or how it should be implemented, how you check, how it is enforced, what records you should keep. We got nothing.” , said Laws.
Whereas in Scotland, MSPs voted to introduce vaccine passports, in England, there was no debate.
Fabric’s COO says he’d like to hear the scientific rationale.
“I would say a 200-seat bar without ventilation is much more dangerous than a 1,500-seat club with strong ventilation, improved cleaning that requires people to COVID status on the door, I would say is much less risk of transmission.
“People go to the pub, to another bar, to end up in a club. So if you go to two places before potentially infecting people, the damage is done. If the goal is to reduce transmission, to protect people, then this has to apply to all parameters of the night economy. “
Nightclubs were one of the last areas to reopen after the pandemic. Rather than convincing unvaccinated youth to get bitten, there is concern that it will scare people away.
“It’s an industry that was shut down throughout COVID, had no industry specific support. I would say she doesn’t have a hard time getting up, she has a hard time getting down on her knees .I imagine that financially it will be a disaster, ”Laws said.
Over the summer, festivals have used QR code scanners to check people’s NHS COVID passes. If clubs are supposed to do the same, they should receive materials and train staff within a few weeks.
If additional bouncers are needed to carry out checks, Michael Kill of the Night-Time Industries Association says clubs will struggle.
“At the moment we cannot provide the basic level of security, so nothing after September, a requirement for COVID passports requiring additional security is going to be a huge challenge… we have a big security resource gap that needs to be addressed. considered, ”he said.
In a statement, Downing Street said: “The Prime Minister has made it clear that at the end of September, when all people aged 18 and over have had a chance to be fully immunized, the government plans to making vaccination complete the condition of entry to a number of places where large crowds congregate. Further details will be communicated in due course. “
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With few details to come, nightclub workers are frustrated.
David Vickery, of XOYO, said: “I don’t think the government realizes the anxiety it causes in people, we need the information so that we can do proper planning to keep people safe. . “
“It’s like stepping into no man’s land, we need to find out as soon as possible because it’s weeks away.”