From the end of September, anyone entering a nightclub or other venue where large crowds gather will need to show a vaccine passport. These will be displayed either via the NHS phone app, or via a paper NHS Covid Pass letter that can be requested by calling 119.
But within the nightclub sector many fear the approaching regulations may push them beyond a tipping point.
“80% of nightclubs have said they do not want to implement Covid passports” says Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA). Kill cites concerns that punters will simply go elsewhere, and that venues may struggle with staffing.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls added that the new vaccine certificates policy would be “a hammer blow” for nightclub businesses. “This new policy is devastating” said Nicholls “and risks hitting these fragile businesses and derailing their recovery and costing thousands of jobs.”
‘We’re finding that the UK night-time economy is one of the worst hit by COVID restrictions,’ comments insolvency practitioner Simon Renshaw. ‘Given the thin cash-flow reserves of most businesses in this industry now, it will not be surprising if the autumn sees a wave of new insolvencies from nightclubs and businesses in their supply chain.’
75% of Nightclubs Close to Insolvency
With many venues remaining closed and not bringing in any revenue since March 2020, the nightclub industry finds itself in one of the most precarious situations of any UK business sector.
Contributing some £66 billion per year to the UK economy, a recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night Time Economy found that ‘Without urgent government support, nightlife businesses face ‘extinction’ that will see urban centres become ‘ghost towns’ and hobble wider economic recovery.’
- Inquiry: Covid and nightlife report
- Nightclubs in the UK: Market size from 2011 to 2021