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NTIA poll finds 8 in 10 nightlife businesses won’t use Covid Passports

82.7% of Night Time Economy Businesses will not ask their customers to provide Covid Status information to gain entry from Monday 19th July, a flash poll of members conducted by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has found. Over 250 Businesses took part in the survey.

The finding comes after the Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Monday that nightclubs and other event organisers were being advised to ask for proof that consumers have had two jabs or tested negative for Covid. In Guidance published by the Government later on Monday, they said “if sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date.”

But today’s findings from the NTIA’s flash poll cast doubt on the feasibility of implementing a system of covid status certification, whether through guidance or law.

We also asked respondents the reasons for their decision not to ask for status certification from their consumer, with some of the most common answers including:
– A sense it was unfair that pubs/bars of similar size are not being encouraged to ask for certification despite being similar environments in many cases.
– The fact that the key demographic of the 18-30 age group has not had the opportunity for double vaccination, and there are still levels of high vaccine scepticism in this group.
– The cost of implementing the system absent of active government support
– The potential for confrontation between staff and disgruntled consumers without certification, heightened by the fact there is no uniform standard
– The fact that much of the trade in the night time economy relies on the consumer spontaneity
– Being put at a competitive disadvantage relative to businesses not requiring certification
– The unreliability of lateral flow testing
– The fact businesses have only been given a week’s notice by the Government

Michael Kill CEO NTIA Says
“We are hugely concerned that the Government has caused yet more confusion by suggesting that Covid Passports are not mandatory while, at the same time, details reveal clearly that this could well be the case in future.”

“Government Guidance released this week has given businesses less than a week to make what would be a major change to their operating model. This type of ambiguous communication is creating hesitation amongst customers and operators. At this rate, ‘freedom day’ will be a false dawn for a nightlife sector characterised by chaos.”

“The Government should recognise explicitly that covid passports are just not viable for large swathes of the night time economy, as their own internal report into the matter concluded. My worry here is that they intend to hide behind this ‘guidance’ when cases rise and they are forced to change tack, and blame it all on individual businesses and consumers for not taking the steps to stay safe. In fact, this sector takes the safety of its staff and customers very seriously and wants to be able to reopen safely, but is once again at sea because of a lack of leadership from the Government.”

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