Nightclubs to reopen without requirements for Covid test, says report

Requiring tests and vaccine passports from public ‘too much hassle’ for night time economy, say ministers

Kate Ng
Thursday 01 July 2021 17:04 BST
Clubbers arrive for Covid nightclub pilot event in Liverpool

Nightclubs and music venues will reportedly be allowed to reopen from 19 July without requiring party-goers to produce a negative Covid test or show vaccine passports on entry.

According to the Evening Standard, ministers believe that making people looking to have a night out take Covid tests would be “too much hassle” for the public and businesses in the night time industry.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove is leading a review into how Covid-status certification could play a role in fully reopening the economy.

The government hopes to lift all social restrictions from 19 July, a month later than the original date set in its roadmap out of lockdown. The delay meant that nightclubs have had to remain closed for longer than expected, prompting warnings from the industry of mass closures.

But scrapping any testing requirements would be a “godsend” for the industry, said Simon Thomas, chief executive of the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square.

He told the Evening Standard: “This would be a godsend to the night time economy so we can relaunch central London to a global audience.

“It’s time to get on with life and live with this virus as we’ve lived with others before.”

It comes after the government held pilot schemes to examine how large-scale events could continue while managing transmission of the virus, which involved more than 13,000 people attending two nightclub events, a music festival and a business conference in Liverpool in April and May.

The trial events did not cause any detectable spread of the virus, said Liverpool’s health chief Matt Ashton, who labelled them “undoubtedly a success”.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), told The Independent: “We have worked tirelessly, representing our sector, addressing concerns with the government over potential restrictions and economic challenges faced by the sector throughout this pandemic.

“The implementation of Covid Status Certification for entry into nightclubs or venues is hugely challenging, and presents some considerable logistical barriers. We are pleased to hear through varying press outlets that the Government has decided to steer away from plans to implement this, and are moving towards plans to lift restrictions and open the sector completely, we await confirmation.”

The Independent has contacted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for comment.

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