Birmingham: Police shut down event at makeshift nightclub
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Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Dave Haslam called out the Government’s lack of thinking when it comes to reopening one of Britain’s biggest and most profitable industries. Mr Haslam was questioned on the show about whether lateral flow testing could allow clubs to remain open post-Covid.
“Why not,” said Mr Haslam, “I mean clubbers are tested for various things, and also clubbers are used to, for example, proving how old they are, young clubbers take their passports into clubs, so taking some sort of certificate isn’t really compromising their privacy.”
The comments come in response to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen nightclubs as early as June 21 as part of his roadmap out of lockdown.
The huge nightlife sector, like those in the catering industry, has been hit hard by lockdown restrictions leading to many companies requiring financial support.
“We have to realise that it’s a £70 billion industry,” said Mr Haslam.
“There’s tens of thousands of people who live for the weekend.
“It’s part of our DNA.”
He added: “For people who might not be particularly aware of the culture, it’s a big part of our urban community.”
The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown provided scant detail on what reopening nightclubs might look like, merely suggesting that testing could be used to reduce risk of infection.
“Ventilation is obviously an important issue, and I think it’s one of those things that the Government hasn’t really talked about much,” said Mr Haslam.
“I’m in Manchester right now – over the last year there have been club type venues that have been open, some of them open air or semi-open air.
“But that all depends on the notorious Manchester weather.”
Speaking back in February, Michael Kill, Night Time Industries Association CEO, said he was pleased the Government had included a timeline for reopening nightlife venues.
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Mr Kill added: “The sector urgently needs additional clarity on reopening and critical financial support from the Chancellor if we are to avoid economic and social damage that will last a generation.”
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