The UK government plans to make it mandatory for nightclubs to require customers to present COVID “passports” as conditions to entering their establishment. While owners of nightclubs in England were allowed to reopen, 18 months after the pandemic lockdown orders, the “Freedom Days” celebration that took place thereafter had raised concerns about the spread of the new variant that is being touted as deadly and highly transmissible.
The concern is highlighted by the fact that many who frequent the venues are not vaccinated, making it necessary for the government of PM Boris Johnson to restrict access to nightclubs, only to those who can present proof that they tested negative from the virus, or are fully vaccinated.
The UK Prime Minister’s official spokesperson mentioned that they are encouraging establishments to utilize the COVID-19 pass similarly to how pilots use them. The spokesperson clarified that mandating certification will only be applicable to certain places, to which the date of effectivity will be announced at a later date.
Clinical Virologist Warns that Nightclubs Have Been Identified as Effective Spreading Grounds
A clinical virologist at University of Leicester named Julian Tang provided data showing that venues like nightclubs and bars have posed as effective spreading grounds for coronavirus. Dr. Tang, who is also a professor of Respiratory Sciences at the Leicester University, explained that nightclub customers, whose ages range between 18 and 25, are people who do not wear masks, while not fully vaccinated at all.
Nightclubs as Dr. Tang describes them, are places where clubbers shout to the music and dance with strangers at a very close distance. Such scenarios make them the perfect places for the virus not only to spread, but to generate new variants as well.
In light of the information presented by Dr. Tang, the UK government has given advice to nightclub owners to check their customers first. While there is no law yet that obligates them to do so. the PM’s spokesman clarified that the utilization of COVID passes to reduce the risk of transmission is for their benefit.
There is still the possibility of the nightclubs being closed again if ever a third wave of lockdown becomes necessary. The Chief Executive of Night Time Industries Association, Michael Kill challenged the government to finalize the COVID pass mandate, instead of shifting the responsibilities to businesses, since requiring the pass could pose as a big for their customers.