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Nightclub owner shuns government’s COVID passport ahead of reopening

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Nightclub owner REKOM UK has said it will not be asking for vaccine passports at its doors when it reopens venues.

It comes despite the government advising clubs to do so after most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions are lifted in England on 19 July.

Peter Marks, the firm’s chief executive, which owns 42 nightclubs including chains Pryzm, Bar&Beyond, Eden and Fiction, told the PA news agency that reopened nightclubs would operate in the same way as pubs are.

Mr Marks said he was “thrilled” nightclubs would be able to reopen “at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative COVID test, something we believe would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet”.

Mr Marks added: “We’re able to open in this way because nightclubs in particular are among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector, and indeed were even prior to the pandemic, for the exact safety measures that are required to reduce the spread of the virus.

“These include air ventilation systems in all our venues which change air every five minutes on average, sanitisation stations throughout all our clubs, increased frequency of cleaning schedules compared to before the pandemic, and highly trained staff and experienced door staff who are well-versed in crowd management protocols.

“Together, these measures mean that clubs are well placed to open and provide unforgettable nights out once again.”

More on Covid-19

Earlier on Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told parliament that businesses and large events will be encouraged to use the NHS COVID Pass to ask punters for proof they are double-jabbed or have tested negative for coronavirus, but that it would be “non-compulsory”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged venues to use the vaccine passport scheme “as a matter of social responsibility”.

Government guidance has said the pass could be made mandatory at a later date if “sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection”.