Full vaccination required to enter clubs

Covid passports will become mandatory for entry for nightclubs and large events from September.

The prime minister has announced that Covid passports will become mandatory for entry for nightclubs and large events from September.

Speaking at a Covid-19 press conference on 19 July, Boris Johnson first asked nightclubs to do "the socially responsible thing" and "make use of the NHS Covid Pass", which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.

However, he then went on to announce plans for the requirement of full vaccination come September.

"As we said last week, we reserve the right to mandate certification at any point, if it is necessary to reduce transmission," he said. "And I should serve notice now that by the end of September - when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed –we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."

Not happy

Operators have been reacting angrily to the news, with UKHospitality calling the announcement a "hammer blow" to the industry. There is also confusion among the trade as to when a late night bar becomes a nightclub, with many operators running hybrid businesses.

Sacha Lord, the night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, tweeted that "'Venues where large crowds gather' is too open ended. Live music venues, theatres, large bars, arenas, the list is endless."

Peter Marks, CEO of REKOM UK, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, was quick to issue a statement after the news.

"There is no difference between a club and most pubs at midnight," he says. "It should be down to individual risk assessments in line with the specialist scientific advice we have received. 

"We are no more than a political football. Mandatory Covid passports may make sense one day once the entire adult population has been offered vaccines, but does government really think this threat will entice the ‘vaccine wary’ to take the vaccine? They will just stay later in the pubs and hold their parties in their houses.”

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