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28 November 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Covid passports not popular with music industry
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Covid passports not popular with music industry

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If cases go on rising like this it is likely that event restrictions will become quite severe

The government minister for vaccinations Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed that vaccine certificates will be required for entry into nightclubs and other mass indoor venues from the end of September.

Mr Zahawi was interviewed on television on Sunday and made it clear that the government were going ahead with this measure and indeed that the evidence supporting it was very clear.

Comments from the hospitality industry include that it will make it very difficult for venues to police this but it is well known that nightclubs all have bouncers so it really should be quite straightforward to ensure that customers have the requisite documentation.

There were some pilot events where it was permissible to have either a covid passport or a clear test but the option to have a clear test will be dropped and the certificate will be the only way of getting in.

At this stage it is not known just how widespread this move is going to be. Nightclubs do not have to be big to be operational – the real issue is that people are so close together in high activity for a lengthy period of time and these conditions are ideal for the spread of coronavirus. At this time a “mass indoor venue” has not been defined but it would seem logical that the reference includes some basis of comparison of people attending with overall space. Whether that will be the case or not remains to be seen. Will large dining events be caught by the new rules?

What is also not known is what penalties may be handed down if the rules are broken, and indeed who will be responsible. Some joke commentators when this move was first announced were publishing cartoons showing a first glance of what the entry documentation would look like – a £50 note!

What this move does show is that the government does still have some concerns about the rise in new cases so perhaps we should be glad of that. Looking at the world table of new cases over the last seven days, the UK now has the proud position of third in line, being exceeded only by the USA and India. So do we really have anything to be proud of? We are by no means a large country in population terms and only one other country has a seven day total exceeding 200000, namely Iran.

The UK really is streets ahead and yet there is an overwhelming feeling within the UK that the pandemic is all over bar the shouting. Nothing could be further from the truth and the trouble is that it is causing people to drop their guard. They are not wearing masks as much; they do not socially-distance. They say that all restrictions have been dropped so it is okay to do what they always used to.

Today’s seven day total has increased to 263885 with 41192 new cases. This is a big number for a Monday and represents an increase of 12.2%. Deaths have dropped a bit, 2%, and sadly new patients continue to increase as well at 6573 or an increase of 3.7%. It is beginning to look like a new upward trend is asserting itself.

Adrian Leopard 06-9-21

Photo Colin Lloyd

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