Nightclubs blast government future jab requirements U-turn

The last crowd at the Music Room in Ipswich in February 2020

The last crowd at the Music Room in Ipswich in February 2020 - Credit: The Music Room

Suffolk businesses have not reacted well to the latest government announcement that proof of full vaccination will be required to get into nightclubs and other venues.

The Music Room's events manager Darren Smith questioned why everyone over 18 will need to prove they are jabbed from the end of September. 

Mr Smith, who also DJ's at another music venue in Ipswich, the Brewers Arms, said: "People can be vaccinated and still get Covid.

"It doesn't make much sense to me. 

"Get everyone to do a lateral flow test. I do two a week.

"You can get them sent for free in the post."

He thinks this latest idea from the government is "more to look like they're keeping [Covid] under control".

Darren Smith, events manager at the Music Room in Ipswich. 

Darren Smith, events manager at the Music Room in Ipswich. - Credit: Darren Smith

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The Music Room's first evening with no Covid measures from the government will have an increased capacity on Tuesday to 300 instead of the 450 allowed. 

Mr Smith said this is to allow people to stand socially distanced at the back if they want and it's optional to wear masks. 

Robert Perry from Maltings Entertainment Limited — which trades as Carbon Nightclub and The Mill Bar and Grill Restaurant — in Stowmarket, reacted saying: "It could be disastrous. 

"Most people in that age that want to go to the club are not vaccinated or have only had one. 

"The [government] are trying to push people to get vaccinated in the next few months.

"We have already had a really hard time."

Mr Perry will open the Carbon Nightclub on Friday at 10pm with two rooms of music every Friday and three rooms every Saturday from then on. 

Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), described the plans as an “absolute shambles”.

“So, ‘freedom day’ for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then,” he said.

“The announcement from the Prime Minister that Covid passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs in September comes after his Health Secretary said only one week ago that they would not be compulsory. What an absolute shambles.

“80% of nightclubs have said they do not want to implement Covid passports, worrying about difficulties with enforcing the system and a reduction in spontaneous consumers, as well as being put at a competitive disadvantage with pubs and bars that aren’t subject to the same restrictions and yet provide similar environments.”

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