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Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

UK nightlife faces desperate wait for Covid vaccine as London claims the ‘night-out’ industry may ‘take a long time to come back’

UK nightlife faces desperate wait for Covid vaccine as London claims the ‘night-out’ industry may ‘take a long time to come back’

A junior minister has dealt a further blow to Britain’s nightclubs, claiming they may have to remain closed until a coronavirus vaccine is available in the UK, as entertainers lament the industry is on its knees.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, the Junior Skills Minister Gillian Keegan told Sky News that some jobs “don’t fit” with coronavirus. She was referring to the hospitality and nightclub industry which have been hit hard by government Covid restrictions.

Keegan warned that it may take a while for some businesses to reopen and jobs to come back, declaring that it would be hard for nightclubs to reopen before a coronavirus vaccine is in use in the UK.

Later on Tuesday morning, outspoken London DJ Fat Tony responded to Keegan’s comments, telling Sky News that the nightclub industry has been on its knees for the last six months. The entertainer asserted that nightclubs can be Covid-safe if things are “done properly,” claiming that “a million people are going to lose their jobs” if the government doesn’t change its stance.

The London DJ also denounced the government for not showing enough consideration for people working in the entertainment sector, highlighting that the end of the furlough scheme and the introduction of the subsidized wage program would not help if nightclubs and other premises were permanently closed. In August, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) claimed 754,000 jobs could be lost due to uncertainty about when venues will be allowed to reopen.

These comments come a day after Junior Health Minister Helen Whately's admission that the government would consider more social restrictions if necessary and one week after the introduction of new closing hours for pubs, bars and restaurants.

The government’s strategy has increasingly come under public pressure in recent weeks. On Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square for the ‘We Do Not Consent’ rally, leading to scuffles with police and to 16 arrests.

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