Vaccine passports might kill clubs

·2-min read

Plans in the UK to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs from the end of this month have been met with disappointment by industry figures who fear they could lead to a spike in house parties and embroil clubs in discrimination cases.

Downing Street confirmed the government intends to press on with plans to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs, which had also previously met with criticism from MPs in both parties.

The scheme would see members of the public required to show proof they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to gain entry to clubs and other large-scale events.

But Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and co-founder of Manchester's Parklife festival, said: "It's disappointing that despite the calls from all sides, including the industry and customers themselves, the government is continuing to move ahead with this.

"The measures will cause enormous disruption to an already struggling industry."

Mr Lord said he believes the measure has the potential to be harmful by encouraging a surge in indoor parties which will be "arguably less safe in terms of security and monitoring alcohol consumption".

He added that he thinks clubs are no less safe than other spaces where crowds may develop, saying: "Why should an open plan nightclub with outdoor terrace, for example, be classed as any less safe than an enclosed 1,000-person office, and where the current wording states 'large gatherings', does this include weddings, churches, or even parliament?"

Urging the Government to have a "rethink" in order to avoid an economic blow in October, Mr Lord said: "We already have sensible, safe precautions across the hospitality sector, and with nightclubs already open we have proof that the current set-up is working safely and effectively."

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