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New report offers safe reopening plan for UK venues and clubs

A new scientific report on COVID-19’s impact on the night time industry, commissioned by Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and Music Venues Trust, among others, has been presented to the UK government to offer a reopening plan.

The study, which provides an independent review of the scientific evidence concerning the transmission of COVID-19, examines the implications for the entertainment industry, including performers, nightclubs and festivals and details how to mitigate the spread of the virus.

The Institute of Occupational Medicine, which published the ‘Managing COVID-19 Risk in the UK Entertainment Industry’ report, found that the core market for clubs and venues are amongst the lowest at risk in the hospitality sector and that overall capacity restrictions to 75 per cent of legal building occupancy based on regulations will ensure distancing is possible throughout the venue.

The report indicates that venues can reopen safely via a range of mitigation measures, many of which are already used, including scanning IDs upon entry, using contactless payments and installing sophisticated ventilation systems.

It suggests that the use of face-coverings on the dancefloor can also be implemented and enforced through existing security staff and protocols.

However, the NTIA said in a different industry survey that almost 60 per cent of night-time venues will not survive longer than two months without further government support, and more than 70 per cent of night-time operators will be making more than half their workforce redundant from September.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We have now reached a critical point. In the absence of a clear reopening strategy from government, or the promise of financial support, huge numbers of businesses within our industry are facing financial collapse and thousands of job losses.

“The report we have launched today clearly shows that there is a case for the safe reopening of night-time leisure venues, including nightclubs, late-night bars, live music venues and event spaces. Whilst many of these are large capacity venues, it is important to note that they already have many of the safety protocols in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

“We implore the government to give us the opportunity to reopen in a safe, risk-assessed way. Doing so will protect thousands of jobs, contribute to the struggling UK economy and ensure our towns and cities remain economically healthy and culturally vibrant.”

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