During the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality sector; especially the nightlife industry and large venues in England which hosted many people at maximum capacity, have been amongst the gravely affected.
Now, by the end of the month, they are bound to suffer a new wave of insecurity. Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed on Sunday that a vaccination certification process will be put in place by the end of September in England. This will entail allowing only fully vaccinated, 18+ individuals in nightclubs and large indoor venues which host mass events.
Mr. Zahawi wants to enforce this policy in a plea to minimise the threatening spiking infection rates in these large crowded venues. Therefore, ensuring that the economy stays open and aligned with the prime minister’s standpoint. Boris Johnson stated in a previous press conference that took place in July that he “does not want to close the nightclubs”. Mr. Zahawi also agrees with this statement as he says that “the worst thing we can do for those venues is to have an open, shut, open, shut strategy” which will lead to the economy being even more damaged than it was before.
However, his proposition has encountered endless backlash from a very fragile industry that has suffered greatly during these past 18 months of lockdown.
Amongst the people who criticized this decision are both the venues that are waiting for this policy to be ruled out and certain MPs.
Their viewpoint on this matter is spearheaded by the Chief executive of UK hospitality, Katie Nicholas. She has stated that: “A scheme introducing mandatory Covid passports for certain venues and events will be unworkable, cause conflict between staff and customers and will force businesses to deal with complex equality rules. Operators may even be forced into a position where they have to let unvaccinated staff go, at a time when there are record levels of staff shortages across the industry.
“The hospitality sector has invested heavily to ensure customers are safe and we have proved venues are Covid secure. Introducing a scheme such as this will be a hammer blow to businesses such as nightclubs that were closed by the government for nearly 18 months, and have only recently been able to trade viably and make progress toward rebuilding and paying off accrued debts.
“Over the past year our sector has been devastated and businesses have only known forced closure or the most severe restrictions. This policy will be devastating for businesses that remain fragile and will certainly derail the recovery and cost thousands of jobs.”
Sadly, the current reality for UK nightclub-goers may turn into a nightmare. With only the fully vaccinated allowed indoors.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this, is this the right move? @hospitalitytitans