Nightclub chain won’t ask for Covid passport despite rules

Having to provide a vaccine passport to enter a nightclube ‘would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet’

<p>Nightclubs will be allowed to open their doors once again from 19 July</p>

Nightclubs will be allowed to open their doors once again from 19 July

A nightclub chain has said that it will not ask customers for vaccine passports when it reopens its doors on 19 July as restrictions lift.

This comes despite the UK government’s advice that businesses and large events should use the NHS Covid Pass to ensure that event-goers are either fully vaccinated, or have tested negative for Covid.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, announced on Monday that the government had decided to go ahead with the final stage of lockdown lifting on 19 July.

This means that nightclubs will be allowed to finally reopen their doors and people will no longer be required to wear masks, as the country enters its “new phase of continued caution” in living with Covid.

Chief executive of REKOM UK, which owns 42 nightclubs including chains Pryzm, Bar&Beyond, Eden and Fiction that he was “thrilled” that the nightclubs would be able to finally reopen on Monday 19 July, reported PA.

Peter Marks said that they were intending to do this “at full capacity.” He added that customers would not be required to present proof of a negative Covid test, as this is “something we believe would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet.”

Mr Marks went on to say that the chains’ reopened nightclubs would operate in the same way that pubs are currently running.

He said: “We’re able to open in this way because nightclubs in particular are among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector, and indeed were even prior to the pandemic, for the exact safety measures that are required to reduce the spread of the virus.

“These include air ventilation systems in all our venues which change air every five minutes on average, sanitisation stations throughout all our clubs, increased frequency of cleaning schedules compared to before the pandemic, and highly trained staff and experienced door staff who are well-versed in crowd management protocols.

“Together, these measures mean that clubs are well placed to open and provide unforgettable nights out once again.”

Mr Marks’ remarks go against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for venues to use the vaccine passport scheme when they are allowed to reopen. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mr Johnson urged venues to use the scheme “as a matter of social responsibility.”

Guidance published on the UK government’s website after the press conference suggested: “sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the government will consider mandating the NHS Covid Pass in certain venues at a later date”.

Meanwhile, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, a pub owner in Middlesborough said that Covid passes were “very unworkable for venues such as late bars and nightclubs,”

Julie Spensley, whose son owns a nightclub and bar in the town, cited the fact that many customers who usually attend nightclubs won’t be fully vaccinated due to their age.

She also voiced concerns over how long it would take for customers to gain entry into venues, should they have to present a vaccine passport. Ms Spensley added: “unless it’s mandatory, we will not be introducing it.”

Other hospitality venues however, have said that they will wait for full government guidance on rules changing to be published before they decide whether or not to request proof of vaccination from customers.

Additional reporting by PA

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