The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the Government’s indication that by the end of September every person attending a nightclub or mass gatherings would need to be double vaccinated is having a major impact on ticket sales and staffing levels.
It said that while the sector had enjoyed exceptional sales since the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted on 19 July “the real fallout of the pandemic has now come to light” – bookings and ticket sales have stalled, and many who are against the idea of Covid Passports or vaccines are requesting thousands of pounds worth of refunds.
Meanwhile, The Times has quoted a leaked letter sent on behalf of the health secretary Sajid Javid that said “no final policy decision has yet been taken”. A Government spokesperson said it was “planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs”.
The NTIA said that if Covid Passports were mandated, businesses in the sector would see trade fall by a third overnight and the staffing issues would intensify with many suggesting they would leave the sector if they were forced to be vaccinated.
The association said a lack of security personnel has meant businesses with conditions on their licenses that require security have suffered with closure or limited operating hours.
NTIA CEO Michael Kill said the industry had supported the Government’s health strategy for more than 18 months and proved the sector could operate safely. He called on prime minister Boris Johnson to “give credit where it is due”, not mandate Covid Passports and allow the industry the freedom to determine its own mitigations.
“Our Industry has been exceptional at managing businesses and public health within these settings during this pandemic,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief much of our core market and workforce will not accept being coerced into taking the vaccine, the workforce is shrinking and illegal events are being organised today in light of the impending restrictions, how can this be anything but counterproductive.”
“Our industry cannot be blamed or subject to the failings or impact of other settings, it is abundantly clear the impact of opening our sector has not impacted rates to levels suggested.”
“It’s important that the Government recognise the value of our contribution, end the uncertainty, and work with us in recognising the impact of proposed measures.”