Nightlife bosses had been arguing that the implementation of NHS Covid passes to clubbing across the UK have forced people away from the “spontaneous” nature of going out and, instead, towards underground parties or illegal raves.
“This will kill high street bars and clubs where you make a last-minute decision and pay on the door. I really fear for them,” says Warehouse Project boss Sacha Lord, who predicts that the use of COVID passes will “kill the spontaneity of going out”.
However, England's Plan B measures are to end from Thursday, with mandatory face coverings in public places and Covid passports both dropped, Boris Johnson announced.
The prime minister also said the government would immediately drop its advice for people to work from home. The PM said England was reverting to "Plan A" due to boosters and how people had followed Plan B measures.
As of last week, the minimum self-isolation period for people testing positive for Covid-19 in England has been cut to five full days, with people needing to provide a negative lateral flow tests on days five and six of their isolation.
On the 19th Jan, it was announced that large outdoor public events such as football matches could take place again after some of Scotland's Covid restrictions were relaxed. Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she is hopeful that the restrictions on indoor events can be lifted today (24 January).
As well as the changes to outdoor events, the definition of "fully vaccinated" for the purpose of vaccine passports changed and now includes having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.
Leading festival promoters, production companies, venue operators and industry associations are calling on the Government to maintain the 12.5% reduced VAT rate on tickets until at least the end of 2022.
Standon Calling (17,000) festival owner Alex Trenchard said the impact of the Omicron wave makes for a strong argument to reintroduce the 5% VAT rate: “Omicron is creating massive labour shortages and the emergency rate will help us with inflationary cost pressures that upset a business model based on fine margins.
“Looking beyond Omicron there is also a strong case for a permanent cultural VAT rate for festivals as elsewhere in Europe – this is critical to the festival industry’s recovery as we hopefully emerge from Covid in 2022. We are entering inflationary times and rising costs are not going to go away. A cultural VAT rate would support our £1.76bn sector and also ensure a level playing field with European festivals who have a competitive VAT advantage that allows them to outbid UK festivals for talent. In the long run this can only lead to a cultural talent drain out of the UK.”