Nightclubs urge Government not to leave sector 'on a knife edge' as Covid cases increase

Danny McGowan of McGowan's in Dublin said practical solutions are crucial to keep the sector open.
Nightclubs urge Government not to leave sector 'on a knife edge' as Covid cases increase

Nightclub owners are urging the Government not to leave the sector "on a knife edge" if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

The sector reopened as part of the Government's latest easing of restrictions, however, social distancing and ticketing rules have caused widespread confusion.

Danny McGowan of McGowan's in Phibsboro, Dublin says the nightlife industry could have reopened prior to the latest easing of restrictions and without the "absolute mess" of new legislation.

Mr McGowan adds that practical solutions, such as air-cleansing ozone machines and CO2 monitors are now an important part of keeping the sector open.

"The Government could have re-opened nightlife earlier and recognised venues were doing everything they could to guarantee safety," he says.

"Instead, it was left to the last minute for owners to figure out the new legislation themselves. The industry is doing everything it can, the last thing owners need is to be put on a knife edge, they want to remain open."

Rules

Those wishing to go to a nightclub must now be fully-vaccinated, providing proof of vaccination at the door, in addition to a ticket to facilitate contact tracing purchased at least one hour before attendance. Venues found to be in breach of the new regulations are liable for a €2,500 fine.

Mr McGowan believes the new ticketing rule is "an absolute mess" adding that businesses were "really thrown in at the deep end".

"It was difficult and there’s always going to be a few teething problems - you’re putting in a queueing system that sometimes doesn’t work and getting the customers to listen to you explaining the rules is the hard bit, but most people won’t break the rules knowingly," he says.

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