Today, July 19th, marks the first day that the U.K. entered step 4 of its COVID-19 reopening timeline. That means social distancing mandates no longer apply – but lawmakers have now shared that proof of vaccination will be required for all nightclub and venue entry starting in September.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Nadhim Zahawi made the announcement while speaking to the House of Commons. It signals something of an about face on the government’s July 12th guidance, which encouraged, but did not legally require clubs to implement the NHS COVID Pass system.
“By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold,” said Zahawi. “So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”
Zahawi said that clubs are still encouraged to require NHS COVID Passes as well. He mentioned that lawmakers “will be keeping a close watch on how it is used by venues and reserve the right to mandate if necessary.”
“Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another chaotic U-turn that will leave night clubs who have been planning for reopening for months will now have to make more changes to the way they operate — this is still a bad idea,” said Kill. “80% of nightclubs have said they do not want to implement COVID-19 passports, worrying about difficulties with enforcing the system and a reduction in spontaneous consumers, as well as being put at a competitive disadvantage with pubs and bars that aren’t subject to the same restrictions and yet provide similar environments.”
According to DJ Mag, London clubs like The Cause and Corsica Studios have announced that they will require proof of negative COVID-19 vaccination within 48 hours of entry. REKOM, which owns 42 clubs across the U.K., has shared that it will not implement the NHS COVID Pass system.