Kirjoittaja Aihe: Nightclubs warn Covid passports will have 'devastating' impact  (Luettu 436 kertaa)

Nightclubs warn Covid passports will have 'devastating' impact

New rules requiring people to have Covid passports to enter nightclubs in England will have a "devastating impact", the industry has said.

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The Night Time Industries Association said it came at the worst possible time, with the pre-Christmas period "absolutely crucial" for the sector.

The rules affect indoor venues holding more than 500 people and outdoor venues with a capacity of more than 4,000.

People will need an NHS Covid pass or negative lateral flow test to enter.

The new rules for nightclubs will come into force on Wednesday 15 December.

Covid passes, which have been implemented in Scotland and Wales, have caused a 30% and 26% drop-off in trade respectively, NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said.

"Vaccine passports will have a devastating impact on a sector already so bruised by the pandemic," Mr Kill said.

"The mixed public health messages this week that have been coming out of the government have arrived at the worst possible time - the pre-Christmas period is absolutely crucial for our sector. And now it is announced damaging vaccine passports are to be implemented.

"Far from 'saving' Christmas, the prime minister has given our sector the horrible present of more pain for businesses desperately trying to recoup losses from earlier in the pandemic."

A government report in June found that vaccine passports could have effects including discouraging people from attending venues. It concluded that, at the time, the impact of bringing them in would be out of proportion to the public health benefits.

Given that, Mr Kill questioned the timing and rationale of the government move. "Is this sound evidence-based public policy making, or is this an attempt to move the news agenda on from a damaging story about the Downing Street Christmas party?"

Nightclub operator Rekom, which has more than 40 venues across the UK, said it was "disappointed, but sadly not surprised" by the government move.

Peter Marks, chairman of its UK board, said there was "no evidence anywhere in the world" that nightclubs had caused an increase in Covid cases.

"It is not only unjust to single out the late-night sector, but it will have no impact on transmission rates," he added.