entertainment industry

Government Set to Require Vaccine Passport Checks at Football Matches, Concerts and Conferences

We are starting to get a better picture of what the Government means when it says vaccine passports will be required at ‘large events’. Reports this morning suggest that ministers are set to impose Covid vaccination checks on those attending football matches, concerts, conferences and more – but the wider hospitality sector is likely to be left out of the scheme for now. The Mail has the story.

Boris Johnson announced plans in July to make double vaccination a “condition of entry” for nightclubs in England because of fears that they could become Covid hotspots.

But ministers will meet next week to discuss extending the requirement to a string of other “mass events”, the Mail has learnt.

Although final decisions have not been taken, a Whitehall source said the plans were likely to be “very similar” to those unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland this week.

The SNP leader said vaccine passports would be mandated for all unseated live events attracting more than 500 people indoors or 4,000 outdoors. All events with audiences of more than 10,000 would also be covered, whether seated or not.

A Whitehall source said precise audience caps might vary in England but the types of events covered was likely to be the same.

The rules would make Covid passports mandatory for most big sporting events, as well as music concerts, festivals and some exhibitions. Sources said large theatres could also be covered.

But in a concession to Tory MPs, the Government is expected to rule out imposing the new system on the wider hospitality sector for now, meaning pubs and restaurants will escape.

The move will put ministers on collision course with more than 40 Conservative MPs who have pledged to vote against any plan for vaccine passports. It will require legislation, meaning there will be a crunch vote in the Commons. …

A Whitehall source said: “The evidence is that certification can help put a bit of control around an event and provide reassurance.

“Everyone understands the concerns around freedoms but we may be in a situation this winter where the alternative is more closures and economic damage to sectors that have suffered hugely already.”

Sources also suggest some affected businesses such as the Premier League, exhibition organisers and West End theatres have expressed interest in using vaccine passports to provide greater reassurance to customers.

Worth reading in full.

Tens of Thousands Demand Their “Freedom to Dance” in London Protest

The protest isn’t over in London. Today, tens of thousands of people have turned out to a party to demonstrate against the Government’s attack on the live music industry through the imposition of numerous lockdowns and the continuation of social distancing measures. The MailOnline has the story.

Crowds blocked Regent Street during the FreedomToDance march organised by Save Our Scene, demonstrating against the ongoing Covid restrictions that are keeping nightclubs and music venues closed in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The lively protest saw open-sided trucks rigged with speakers providing a mobile club atmosphere for the punters as they poured out onto the streets without masks to protest against coronavirus restrictions on nightlife.

Young protestors were seen puffing on balloons as they walked along in the festival-feel crowd on one of London’s busiest shopping streets.   

Others were seen brandishing signs reading “let the music play”, “music is medicine” and “everybody’s free to feel good, but not dance”.

The results from 10 Government-led trial events were recently released and identified only 28 positive Covid test results among 58,000 participants. So when will the Government do as these protesters ask and “let the music play”?

The MailOnline report is worth reading in full.