New data from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has revealed that trading levels for nightlife businesses have been ‘decimated’ in the first week of the Scottish Government’s vaccine passport scheme.

A survey of NTIA members in Scotland revealed that nightclub trade levels have dropped by almost half (46%), with some reporting declines in excess of 60% compared to previous weeks.

Trade in pubs and bars have dropped by one quarter (24%) according to the survey, despite 90% of these venues implementing measures to take themselves out of remit of the scheme.

According to the survey a 46% decline in trade for nightclubs would represent lost income of £506,000 per year per venue on average if this scheme continues compared to pre-vaccine passport levels of trade. It also found a 24% decline in trade for pubs and bars would represent lost income of £180,000 on average.

NTIA also claims that 90% of pubs and bars with late night entertainment offerings have felt forced to remove themselves from the scope of the scheme by implementing measures such as decommissioning dance floors, reducing opening hours, or cancelling live entertainment.

NTIA Scotland vice chair Gavin Stevenson said, “It is utterly bewildering that Scottish Government have completely ignored the warnings from sectoral experts as to the dire consequences of this scheme.

“It has taken just one week for our concerns around market distortion, unfair competition, discrimination, and the severe economic impact to be proven true, while the huge reduction in Covid-19 cases that happened well before the scheme came into effect demonstrates that the scheme is simply not necessary to reduce cases.

“We’re calling on Scottish government to scrap this flawed scheme and work with our sector to explore alternatives that are workable and allow businesses to remain viable.”