Meeting to finalise how nightclubs and late-night venues will operate

Major sticking point is the requirement for venues to give patrons tickets which must be secured ahead of the event taking place

A spokesman for the Licensed Vintners Association  said ‘substantive anomalies’ remain to be addressed. Photograph: Getty Images

A spokesman for the Licensed Vintners Association said ‘substantive anomalies’ remain to be addressed. Photograph: Getty Images

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

Government officials and industry stakeholders are to meet on Tuesday morning to finalise plans for how nightclubs and late-night venues will operate in the coming months.

The Department of Enterprise and the Department of Arts and Culture will hold a meeting on new guidelines which will also be attended by groups representing pubs, nightclubs and live venues.

One of the major sticking points is the requirement for venues to give patrons tickets which must be secured ahead of the event taking place.

Under the plan tickets must be purchased in advance for live events and nightclubs where attendees are not seated “in order to facilitate contact tracing and to avoid massed congregation outside venues from walk-up customers”. Clarity will be sought today (Tuesday) in relation to how far in advance tickets must be given.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, regulations will be drawn up to give effect to the guidelines.

A spokesman for the Licensed Vintners Association said “substantive anomalies” with the reopening plan needed to be addressed.

In terms of how the first weekend had gone, “the initial reaction has been one of happiness”, with increased activity and the return of live performers, he said. “However, there remains significant uncertainty around the upcoming regulations, which the sector operated without this weekend.”

Ticketing system

While pubs with live music will not be obliged to run a ticketing system, this will only be the case where patrons are seated.

If a pub wants to allow dancing in the way that nightclubs or live venues do, they will need the relevant licences, and they will have to be ticketed.

Industry stakeholders have called for the new regulations to be published by Tuesday evening.

The Department of Health reported a further 1,845 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the seven-day daily average to 2,148, an increase of 23 per cent in a week.

There were 497 people with Covid-19 in hospital on Sunday, up from 484 a week ago, and 99 in intensive care units, up from 73 a week ago.

Four more people with Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, and another 1,019 cases of the viruses were confirmed.

Medics in Northern Ireland have called for vaccine passports to be introduced for clubs and other venues in the North amid concern over the high positivity rate.

News Digests

Stay on top of the latest newsSIGN UP HERE