THE company that owns Play Nightclub Hereford has questioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership on plans to force Covid vaccine passports on club gates from September.
Peter Marks, managing director of Rekom UK, which owns 42 nightclubs including channels Pryzm, Eden and Fiction, as well as Blue School Street’s Play, said he felt “totally in disbelief” after hearing Mr. Johnson for clubs later this year.
At a press conference on Monday, the day clubs reopened for the first time in 16 months, Mr Johnson said proof of a negative test aged 18 and over would no longer be considered sufficient to enter nightclubs from September.
Mr Marks said that while he understood the difficulties faced by the government due to its need to “navigate all the icebergs of different factions”, he did not agree with the latest plans.
He added that he feels the clubs have been “crushed” because Mr Johnson “dares not touch the ads” because he understands “how unpopular it would be” with the public.
He told the PA news agency: “What we have here is a government, especially a prime minister, which is driven more by public opinion and opinion polls than I think it is. healthy.
“Sometimes you have to show leadership and I don’t think this man has that. I question his judgment. I think he’s really good at boosting morale, and I’m certainly not anti-Boris in it. itself, but I think it was a terrible error in judgment on his part. ”
Mr Marks has said he will “advocate” to the government that the nightclub industry should not be treated separately from the rest of society and that he wants to work with them to examine how clubs can operate in a society. “Risk assessed and balanced”.
“Highlighting the nightclub industry has no basis other than populist messages and I totally disagree with that,” he said.
“To just say, bang, [and introduce vaccine passports], in the vain hope that nightclubs will be so popular with those under 30 that it will make them shrug their shoulders and get a passport, is delusional.
“We will not accept passports as a condition of entry until we are instructed to do so because it is a suicide note for us.
“If this is enforced, I will not break the law. I would never do that. But the reality is that I will keep drumming until common sense prevails, but that’s because it is. of the populist clap. ”
A government spokesperson said: “This is about protecting people in settings where the virus is most likely to spread, and vaccines are the best possible way to do that.
“The change will not take effect until the end of September, when everyone aged 18 and over has had a chance to get a full vaccine. We continue to urge young people to come forward for their vaccine.
“The NHS Covid Pass is designed to be simple and easy to use and we announced this change more than two months in advance, to warn sites to prepare. ”