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More European markets set to relax restrictions

Several European countries have begun relaxing Covid restrictions amid hopes the Omicron wave has peaked in certain parts of the continent.

Large indoor events will resume and nightclubs permitted to reopen in Scotland from 24 January in acknowledgement of a “severe fall” in infection rates. Outdoor events were given the green light to welcome back spectators from 17 January.

The tightened measures had been in place since 26 December last year. First minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs the country had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”, as reported positive cases dropped to 20,268 over the last three days compared to 36,526 in the same period last week.

In England, all remaining coronavirus measures – including mandatory self-isolation for confirmed infections – could be lifted as early as March under plans being drawn up by the government.

In Wales, the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor event rose from 50 to 500 from 15 January. From this Friday, crowds will be allowed to return to sporting events and there will be no limits on those attending outdoor events.

The developments provide renewed encouragement for the live sector after a growing number of early 2022 tours were cancelled or postponed over Covid fears

And from Friday 28 January, nightclubs can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally, although Covid passes will still be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.

The developments provide renewed encouragement for the live sector after a growing number of early 2022 tours were cancelled or postponed over Covid fears.

However, in Sweden, a 500 capacity limit is being imposed on live events from tomorrow (19 January), although an event is permitted to host more than 500 people if the organiser divides the room so that participants from different sections do not come into contact with each other. In such cases, the 500-person limit applies to each section.

Research from the Netherlands, meanwhile, suggests the country’s 2G (covering people who have either vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the past six months) and 3G (vaccinated/recovered/tested negative) restrictions are cutting cases by just under 10% and 5% respectively.

The Dutch live sector’s hopes for a swift reopening were dashed over the weekend, with a review on the reopening of cultural venues not due to take place until 25 January.

 


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UK markets announce plans to ease restrictions

Wales and Scotland have announced plans to roll back their Covid-19 restrictions.

In Scotland, restrictions on large outdoor events will come to an end on Monday 17 January.

The move will allow fans to return to outdoor concerts and football matches, after Covid restrictions were put in place on Boxing Day, reducing outdoor events to a capacity of 500.

Event organisers will now have to check the vaccine certification of at least 50% of attendees, rather than the current 20%, or at least 1,000 people, depending on which figure is higher.

From Monday the requirement to be ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.

It will still be possible to gain admission to events and venues covered by the certification scheme by providing proof of a recent negative lateral flow test, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Nightclubs have been closed since 26 December but the First Minister has said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from 24 January.

Scotland has said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from 24 January

In Wales, the First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the relaxing of the rules and stated that the peak of the Omicron wave is now behind the country.

The relaxation will begin this Saturday (15 January) when the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor event will rise from 50 to 500.

From Friday 21 January, crowds will be allowed to return to sporting events and there will be no limits on those attending outdoor events.

From Friday 28 January, nightclubs can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally, although Covid passes will still be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.

From Thursday 10 February, Wales will return to a three-week review cycle as the country returns to alert level 0.

From 28 January, nightclubs in Wales can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally

Northern Ireland is also considering lifting some Covid-19 restrictions next week, First Minister Paul Givan has revealed.

Since 26 December, indoor standing events have not been permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.

Nightclubs are currently closed while hospitality businesses are operating under a series of restrictions. Givan said businesses needed to be able to operate “normally”.

He added that relaxation would depend on health advice received by the executive ahead of its meeting next week, but stressed that so far the picture was “encouraging”.

In England, restrictions were last updated on 15 December, from which point vaccine passports and facemasks have been required in order to attend concerts.

The wearing of face masks is mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates are needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.

The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.

 


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Scotland gains new festival Otherlands Music & Arts

Scotland is set to gain a new three-day boutique camping festival boasting “some of the biggest names in live and electronic music”.

Otherlands Music & Arts will debut between 19–21 August at Scone Palace, a heritage site located in Perth.

The palace has hosted events such as Solas Festival and ’80s-themed weekender Rewind Scotland – part of a franchise owned by Live Nation’s LN-Gaiety Holdings and SJM Concerts.

The festival was created by the founders of Edinburgh-based events crew Fly – the team behind bi-annual dance festival Fly Open Air

Described as a “celebration of culture”, Otherlands will include six stages spread across the historic site. There will also be talks with industry leaders, “forward-thinking art” and boutique glamping on offer.

The festival was created by the founders of Edinburgh-based events team Fly which is behind bi-annual dance festival Fly Open Air.

Fly are due to release more information on the line-up and tickets for Otherlands later in the month.

 

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A post shared by Otherlands Music & Arts (@otherlandsfestival)

 


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Scotland unveils £65m aid for culture and events

The Scottish government has earmarked £65 million (€77.8m) in financial aid for culture and events, amid Covid-19 restrictions.

The events sector is set to receive £19.8m (€23.6m) while venues, along with cultural businesses, organisations and independent cinemas, will receive £31.5m (€37.6).

National performing companies that suffered losses over the Christmas period will obtain £2m (€2.3m) while museums, galleries and heritage trusts will secure £1.7m (€2m) in funding. Freelancers in impacted creative sectors will also be bolstered by a £10m (€11.9m).

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon originally announced that £20m would be offered in support for culture and events on 14 December, with the extra £27m in funding for culture and £17m for events being announced last week.

The additional £1m underspend from the existing events budget boosts the total funding package to £65m.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector”

The financial aid comes after the Scottish government implemented further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.

Indoor events where attendees are standing are limited to 100 people, seated events are limited to 200 and outdoor events will be limited to 500 people. The new rules will be reviewed on 11 January.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector, who have already been hit so hard by its impact,” says culture secretary, Angus Robertson.

“We have been engaging with the sector about the impact of the Omicron variant and we are fully committed to supporting culture and events while they recover from the impact of the Covid – and we are aware of just how important they are to Scotland, and indeed the wider recovery from this pandemic.

“These additional funds will help protect the livelihoods of the people working in the sector – and allow us to give further support to freelancers, culture organisations, venues and our national performing companies.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Scottish government has provided £175m to the culture, heritage and events sector.

 


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Omicron in Europe: Latest restrictions on live music

As markets across Europe step up efforts to combat the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, IQ is endeavouring to update the industry on the most recent restrictions affecting live music across the continent.

Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key European markets.

Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change. 

To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on 5 January.

Austria
Austria will suspend a lockdown for the unvaccinated during year-end holidays, allowing them to meet in groups of up to 10 on three days around Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve.

On 12 December, the government ended the three-week lockdown for vaccinated people across most of the country.

The relaxation, which varies from region to region, largely allows for the reopening of theatres, museums and other cultural and entertainment venues. Masks will still be required in public spaces.

Austria is also set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory, with the law due to take effect from 1 February 2022.

Belgium
Music venues are to be shuttered and all indoor mass events are prohibited until at least 28 January.

Outdoor events are permitted to take place but social distancing must be maintained and masks are required. Events with more than 100 visitors must have a one-way circulation plan and a separate entrance and exit.

The new rules were introduced on 26 December 2021. Previously, indoor events in Belgium could take place with a seated and masked audience of no more than 200 people.

Denmark
Music venues, among other indoor cultural institutions, have been ordered to close from 19 December until 17 January 2022.

The Danish parliament has acted quickly to reopen compensation schemes for event organisers, smaller venues and artists.

Esben Marcher, head of secretariat at live music association Dansk Live, welcomes the agreement: “Under the circumstances, it’s a good deal. The rapporteurs and the minister have been very outreach in the dialogue around the agreement, and we feel that they have really listened to us. We really appreciate that.”

England
Vaccine passports and facemasks will be required in order to attend concerts in England from 15 December. The wearing of face masks will be mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates will be needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.

The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.

France
From 3 January, indoor events are limited to 2,000 capacity and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 5,000 people, while nightclubs will remain closed until further notice.

The government said on 17 December it will present a bill early next year to change the French health pass into a vaccination pass. That means people will have to be vaccinated in order to enter music venues and many other leisure and entertainment facilities.

Under the current rules, a recent negative test can serve as a health pass even without vaccination.

Germany
The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) has been extended to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% cap and crowds of up to 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.

Nightclubs will be required to close from 28 December. Football matches will be played behind closed doors from that date, with private gatherings restricted to 10 people.

Ireland
From Monday 20 December, hospitality and cultural venues including music venues, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres must close by 20:00.

All indoor events can operate at 1,000 or 50% capacity and must be fully seated. The number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events is now capped at 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people. The measures will stay in place until at least 30 January 2022.

Face masks will be obligatory unless people are eating or drinking. Nightclubs — which in October reopened for the first time in 19 months — have been closed since 7 December.

Italy
The government has banned concerts until 31 January and extended the country’s state of emergency to 31 March 2022. Nightclubs will also remain closed until the end of this month, and the consumption of food and drink at concert halls and other indoor locations is also banned until the end of March, amid the spread of the omicron variant. The use of FFP2 masks is also compulsory on public transport, in theatres, concert halls and cinemas and for sporting events until at least 31 March.

Netherlands
For the second time in the space of a week, the Dutch government has imposed tighter restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

It was announced on 18 December that residents will be subject to a full lockdown from Sunday 19 December until at least Friday 14 January 2022.

During this time, music venues will be closed and events will not be permitted. Residents must stay at home as much as possible and adhere to the 1.5-metre social distancing rule when outside.

The Dutch government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation.

Northern Ireland
As of 26 December, indoor standing events are not permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.

Norway
As of 13 December, a maximum of 20 people is permitted at public indoor events without fixed allocated seats, and 50 people with fixed allocated seats.

At outdoor public events, a maximum of 100 people is permitted without fixed allocated places, and up to 200 in three cohorts with fixed allocated places.

For all indoor events, whether seated or standing, organisers must ensure that one-metre social distancing can be maintained between attendees. In addition, all attendees at indoor events must wear masks.

Event organisers are required to register guests for track and trace.

Poland
From 15 December, nightclubs will close and the maximum number of people allowed in other venues will be reduced from 50% capacity to 30%.

Venues can increase their operating capacity by only admitting vaccinated attendees, with staff required to check vaccination certificates. Face coverings are mandatory inside music venues.

Portugal
As of 1 December, Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, will be mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks will be required for indoor spaces.

In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to show a negative test to be granted entry to large events without marked seats, sports venues, bars and nightclubs.

From 26 December, bars and nightclubs will be closed, with outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people

For the week of 2–9 January (aka ‘containment week’), working from home will be obligatory, bars will close and school holidays extended to prevent a post-holiday season spread.

Romania
Concerts and events in Romania will be staged at 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 people (all of whom must be vaccinated) with a 10:00 pm curfew.

Scotland
As of 6 December, evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – is included in Scotland’s Covid-19 passport scheme. Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.

The Scottish government is implementing further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.

From 27 December until the first week in January, when it is reviewed, the government is advising people to limit their social contacts, to adhere to social distancing advice and to stay at home where possible. Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from that date.

Spain
As of 3 December, Covid certification demonstrating proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test is required to enter music venues, bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, care homes, or attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors. For indoor standing events, capacity is set at 80% maximum.

Sweden
Indoor events with between 20 and 500 attendees that don’t require vaccinations certificates must now be seated. For events with more than 500 participants, vaccinations certificates and social distancing are required.

Groups must be able to keep a distance of at least one meter sideways and forwards and backwards from other groups. If a group is larger than eight people, the organiser must divide the party with a maximum of eight participants in each.

The restrictions were introduced on 23 December and the effect will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Switzerland
As of 6 December, masks will have to be worn indoors wherever a certificate obligation applies. Events and venues, both indoor and outdoor, will be allowed to restrict entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered. The measures will be in effect until 24 January.

Wales
Large events are prohibited with maximum numbers of 30 at an indoor event and 50 outdoors. Nightclubs must close.

The NHS Covid Pass is needed for entry to concert halls and many other venues. Face masks are still required in most public places.

 


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Concert restrictions tightened over Omicron fears

More European countries have tightened restrictions on concerts in a bid to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

Germany last week extended its so-called 2G rule to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum crowd of 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, indoor events are now limited to 50% capacity, whereas evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – has been added to Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme from today (6 December). Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.

It is really good if the new restrictions can help curb the infection and keep the doors open for our members

However, in the Netherlands, the government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation. A temporary capacity limit of 1,250 was imposed on venues last month.

In Denmark, Covid passes are now required for indoor gatherings of at least 100 people (previously 200) and outdoor gatherings of 1,000 upwards (previously 2,000). The measures came into effect on 29 November.

Esben Marcher, secretary of national trade body Dansk Live, has welcomed the efforts to allow the sector to continue operating.

“It is really good if the new restrictions can help curb the infection and keep the doors open for our members,” he says. “Our members are experts in dealing with large crowds, and we have always believed that you can go to a concert safely, but we also welcome the fact that those who should need it can now feel completely safe when they go to concerts.”

Elsewhere, Austria is in the midst of a national lockdown Austria and is set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory from February 2022.

 


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DF Concerts to reboot Connect festival

DF Concerts & Events is to revive Connect, a music festival that took place in Argyll, Scotland, in the mid-noughties.

The three-day festival was held in 2007 and 2008 on the grounds of Inveraray Castle and featured headliners including Beastie Boys, Björk and Franz Ferdinand.

The Scottish promoter says Connect 2022 is “an entirely new festival experience but retains many of the qualities of its namesake from 2007 & 2008”.

Connect 2022 is “an entirely new festival experience but retains many of the qualities of its namesake from 2007 & 2008”

The festival is slated to take place between 26–28 August 2022 but its line-up and location are yet to be announced.

DF says it will feature “the best in leftfield talent from grassroots through to the biggest names in the world”.

“There will be a plethora of bands, DJs, artists, performers, comedians, jesters, visual arts and installations that will be keeping you amused throughout the weekend as well as culinary delights and crafted drinks from local artisans,” reads a statement from the promoter. More information about Connect 2022 will be announced soon.

DF Concerts’ stable of events already includes Summer Sessions and TRNSMT, which will return to Glasgow Green in 2022 with headliners Paolo Nutini, The Strokes and Lewis Capaldi.

 


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Scots vaccine passport ‘costing biz £250k a week’

The botched rollout of Scotland’s vaccine passport app is costing venues £250,000 a week, according to the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

The Scottish Music Venues Alliance (SMVA) has reported a 39% dip in business per week, amounting to £249,471.23, since vaccine certification became mandatory for large events and nightclubs on 1 October.

A vast majority of people experienced repeated problems in registering and uploading their personal vaccine status to the app, says the events sector.

With the weekly turnover for SMVA members totalling just under £640,000, the drop represents a loss of more than £712,770 over the first two weeks of the month. Venues stand to lose almost £2 million from an eight-week downturn. MVT CEO Mark Davyd describes the figures as “terrible”.

“We told [the government] very clearly that if they went down a vaccine-only passport route, there would need to be financial compensation for the people who have to deliver it, and they didn’t do that,” Davyd tells IQ. “They waited to see what would happen. And what’s happened is £700,000 has already been lost, £250,000 a week is being lost and is going to carry on being lost while they still pursue this policy.”

Scottish venues reported high levels of customer frustration over the lack of information from government and the chaotic rollout of the app. First minister Nicola Sturgeon said NHS Scotland systems were to blame for the troubled launch rather than the app itself.

Davyd says a BRIA [Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment] put out by the authorities after implementation contained no financial assumptions.

“It merely noted that only 62% of 18 to 29-year-olds were actually double vaccinated,” he says. “Well, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that 18 to 29-year-olds are a very large percentage of the audience that goes to grassroots music venues. And therefore 38% of them can no longer get into a grassroots music venue.”

This is having no impact whatsoever on transmission rates

A third of ticket holders over the first two weeks did not attend, while 27% of customers were refused entry due to lack of evidence of full certification. Furthermore, 61% of punters would have been refused entry had venues strictly implemented the full terms of the restrictions, which became enforceable by law on Monday (15 October).

“To be very clear, this is having no impact whatsoever on transmission rates,” says Davyd. “All it’s doing is driving customers out of a very specific part of the economy and putting them somewhere else where they [don’t require] a vaccine passport.

“Transmission isn’t taking place in grassroots music venues, they’re actually doing really, really good risk management. They’re doing great studies, they’re really working hard on safety. This was a thing that, if they wanted to do it, they needed to do it a much, much wider basis so they didn’t get market distortion. It’s the Scottish government’s job to sort that out now.”

On what happens next, Davyd says that the £6m earmarked by the Scottish government to help the domestic events sector recover from the pandemic remains untouched, with a meeting on how to distribute it planned for late this month.

“They now need to spend it to make sure the grassroots music venues are not closed by a policy that really needed a great deal more work before it was implemented,” he adds.

 


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Glasgow’s Hydro reveals sponsorship, green plan

Scotland’s Hydro arena (cap. 13,000) has secured a naming rights deal with OVO, the UK’s third-biggest energy supplier (not to be confused with Drake’s record label).

The newly renamed OVO Hydro in Glasgow re-opened its doors in September following an 18-month closure and is now gearing up for a record-breaking 2022.

Next year, the nation’s flagship venue will host 40% more events than in an average year, with concerts from world-renowned acts such as Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa and Anne-Marie.

The OVO Hydro’s biggest-ever year of live entertainment will also see the venue continue to develop its sustainability credentials as part of a journey to achieve A Greener Festival‘s (AGF) ‘Greener Arena Certification’.

The AGF certification will include external verification that carbon reduction and transition strategies are at the heart of all venue operations, from catering to materials used and circularity.

OVO will support the venue’s goal to achieve the ‘Greener Arena Certification’ through funding of specific carbon-reduction and environmental initiatives recommended as a result of the annual accreditation process.

The venue will host 40% more events than in an average year, with concerts from Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd

In turn, the OVO Hydro will support the commitments in OVO’s ‘Plan Zero‘ to become a net-zero business by 2030 and drive progress towards zero-carbon living.

Billy McFadyen, director of finance and development at the SEC (Scottish Event Campus, which includes OVO Hydro), says: “OVO Energy is the perfect partner for SEC to help achieve our sustainable goals and objectives. We’re working hard to build on our existing, multi-layered sustainability programme and look forward to working with A Greener Festival towards achieving ‘Greener Arena Certification’ for the OVO Hydro.

“We’re grateful to OVO for their support towards this incredibly important consultation and certification process and look forward to working together to further strengthen our sustainability credentials, build upon the work we have already done, and make Scotland’s flagship entertainment venue as low impact as possible.”

The work with OVO and AGF will build on sustainability initiatives already in place across the SEC campus, which includes a sustainable food strategy, a pivot to digital ticketing and a long-standing partnership with conservation charity Trees for Life.

The SEC campus comprises the OVO Hydro, SEC Armadillo (cap. 3,000) and SEC Centre (cap. 13,000).

 


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UK nations divide over vaccine certification

UK governments have this week announced varying approaches towards vaccine certification and Covid-19 requirements, in some cases posing new logistical challenges for the live music industry.

Wales
On Tuesday (6 October), the Welsh government announced that everyone will need an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and large events from next week.

As of 11 October, anyone aged over 18 will be required to show the pass to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

The pass will be compulsory for anyone who wants to attend:

People in Wales will need an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and large events from next week

Pablo Janczur, director of events at Think Orchard, which operates in more than 20 venues in Wales, says that the implementation of the Covid Pass will add another obstacle in venues’ post-pandemic recovery.

“We’ve got a lot of ground to make up and the Covid pass just adds an extra layer of resources – no matter how small,” he says.

“It’s going to require extra resources to check everybody and deal with the people who didn’t get the memo and turned up without a pass for whatever reason. I think it’s going to make life a bit more difficult for us, operationally, with all the venues we work with.”

Janczur also warns that Wales’s restrictions will put the market at a competitive disadvantage to neighbouring England, which lifted all restrictions on 19 July.

“Since the opening happened, people have been popping over the bridge to Bristol so we’ve been worried about a competitive disadvantage for a while. People can do stuff in Wales, but they can easily get to Bristol or Hereford or anywhere over the border,” he adds.

In Scotland, vaccine passports became mandatory for large events and nightclubs last Friday

Scotland
Promoters and venues in Scotland are facing some of the toughest restrictions in the UK after the government introduced mandatory vaccine passports.

Vaccine passports became mandatory for large events and nightclubs last Friday (1 October) but ‘a vast majority’ of people experienced repeated problems in registering and uploading their personal vaccine status to the app.

The event industry – which warned against the policy – is calling for the scheme to be scrapped immediately to avoid further damage to a ‘very fragile nighttime economy’.

Stuart Galbraith, CEO of Kilimanjaro Live, which works in numerous venues across the UK, said the Scottish government’s position on a mandatory vaccine passport “seems overly draconian”.

“Currently, most shows we are running require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test result to be shown when required,” explains Galbraith.

“We think this is the best approach as it offers customers reassurance and provides a safe environment for our shows to take place.”

N.I yesterday announced a rollback of restrictions which will see the reintroduction of non-seated indoor shows

Northern Ireland
In more positive news, Northern Ireland yesterday (7 October) announced a rollback of restrictions which will see the reintroduction of non-seated indoor shows from 14 October.

In addition, the legal requirement for social distancing in bars and restaurants is to be removed from 31 October.

Nightclubs are also to be allowed to reopen for the first time since March 2020, meaning legal restrictions on dancing in venues will be scrapped.

However, ministers have agreed to retain the mandatory wearing of face coverings in certain settings.

The government has asked some sectors to put in place mitigations including proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test but it is not legally enforced.

Plans for vaccine passports could be revived under the English government’s Plan B for coronavirus

England
As of 19 July, large events, such as music concerts and sporting events have resumed without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements and attendees are no longer legally required to wear a face mask.

However, the compulsory use of vaccine passports would be implemented under the government’s more stringent Plan B rules, with only double-jabbed gig-goers allowed entry, and negative lateral flow tests no longer allowed.

The proposal will only be introduced if the country faces a difficult winter with rising Covid cases in the colder months, the government said.

Ministers recently warned that the government needed to be prepared to “act swiftly” and adopt measures such as vaccine passports “at short notice” if there were “unsustainable pressures” on the NHS as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 


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