LONDON – New restrictions on nightclubs and music venues in the UK have been introduced to address the dramatic increase in omicron coronavirus variant cases. Members of Parliament backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial ‘Plan B’ measures on Tuesday (December 14), with 369 MPs voting in favor of bringing in COVID vaccine passports -19 became a legal requirement to enter clubs and some concert halls, compared with 126 opposed.
The rules come into effect on Wednesday, meaning people over 18 in the UK will need to show they have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a negative test done in Last 48 hours to enter a number of music venues, including nightclubs and uncovered indoor venues with more than 500 people.
Proof of vaccine status through the NHS Covid Pass is also required for unroofed outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue (indoor or outdoor) with more than 10,000 people. Similar Covid passport schemes are already in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
MPs also voted in favor of making face coverings mandatory in most UK indoor settings, although the rule did not apply to nightclubs and music venues.
“We cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19 but we can reduce it, and these proposals offer a pragmatic way to do this,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons. Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the House of Commons said ahead of the vote. Javid said the regulations “will make certain high-risk environments safer” and will be reviewed on January 5.
Nearly 100 Conservative MPs rebelled against their own party and voted against passing a vaccine. The government initially announced it would make vaccine passports a legal entry requirement for UK venues and nightclubs in July, but then scrapped the plan months later. because of high vaccination levels and new coronavirus treatments.
That optimism is now rapidly fading after the arrival of the omicron variant. On Monday, there were 4,713 confirmed cases of omicrons in the UK reported as well as the first death linked to this variant. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimates the true number of daily infections much higher at around 200,000.
According to the latest figures, almost 47 million people in the UK have received both doses of the vaccine, or 81% of the adult population. The government has committed to providing booster shots to all adults who want one by the end of December.
The use of vaccine passes for nightclubs and music venues has been fiercely opposed by the live music and entertainment industries due to the logistical challenges they pose to businesses and the negative impact they have on businesses. extremes they have to face. According to the Night Time Industry Association (NTIA), commerce at venues and clubs in Scotland fell 30% following the rollout on October 1. In Wales, business activity fell 26% , the organization said.
“These additional restrictions will jeopardize the survival of businesses in 2022,” said the NTIA CEO. Michael Kill in response to Tuesday’s vote. “Our members have been supporting the national pandemic effort for more than two years, shutting down when they are required, restricting trade, working on guidelines that need to invest in mitigation measures. new and train to be able to open up. [sic] doors, and keep customers and employees safe,” says Kill, calling for “additional emergency assistance” for the field.
According to research by the Music Venue Trust, the new measures come at a pivotal time for UK grassroots music venues, which have already seen a 23% drop in attendance and sales. revenue fell 27% in the six days since the government announced the Plan B restrictions.
Of the 284 venue owners the trust surveyed, 61% said they had to cancel at least one event between December 6 and 13 because of poor sales, one member of the touring team tested positive for COVID-19 or cancel the reservation. The organization said pre-booked ticket sales were down 27% due to a drop in consumer confidence, which it said totaled losses across the sector at nearly £2 million.
The Music Venue Trust is calling on the government to immediately create a “fence stabilization fund” to protect live businesses.
“This is the busiest time of year for grassroots music venues,” Beverley Whitrick, director of strategy at the trust. “Losses of this magnitude cannot be sustained without pushing hundreds of music venues into crisis and in danger of permanent closure.”
https://www.billboard.com/pro/uk-vaccine-passports-clubs-venues/ UK Vaccine Passport for Clubs and Venues Starting Wednesday – Billboard