The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) says that 64% of businesses in the night-time industry will be unviable if reopened with distancing measures.
It also says many businesses feel they will only return at 40-43% of their previous capacity for the first three months.
The NTIA has suggested that 1m distancing, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, would allow these businesses to survive. Current guidelines in the UK advise 2m distancing.
“We will need to find something else to do with the venue, either instead of running socially distanced events, or alongside them. Otherwise, we won’t exist by 2022.”
NTIA CEO Michael Kill commented: “Will the government take a more pragmatic approach and allow businesses to generate their own guides to mitigate the risk presented to us, as is the case with current health & safety measures? Without clarity, no one can plan, prepare, or understand the viability. Our industry wants to open, but we don’t want to open and put people at risk. The last thing anyone wants is for us to re-engage the market then be closed two or three weeks later following another spike in transmission and deaths.”
The government set up a Cultural Renewal Taskforce last week, with the aim of deciding how the country should go about reopening its bars, clubs, pubs and cultural venues. The NTIA is involved with one of the Taskforce working groups, which are chaired by Miniisters from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport.
Katharine Khan, from London venues Village Underground & EartH, commented: “With 13 years’ experience running the 700-capacity Village Underground live music & club space in Shoreditch, London, we already know how many people we need to come through our doors to cover our costs. Working on a regular basis at the much-reduced capacities that would be required by social distancing will not enable us to cover our overheads, in fact it would run us into a financial hole pretty quickly.
“We will need to find something else to do with the venue, either instead of running socially distanced events, or alongside them, otherwise we won’t exist by 2022.
Photo credit: Chris Jepsen