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Music venues will not ask for vaccine passports, says industry boss

MUSIC venues will take precautions to protect people against coronavirus but are not likely to have a vaccine passport policy, according to a live music industry boss.

Mark Davyd, founder and chief executive of the Music Venue Trust, a charity which represents more than 270 small and medium-sized venues in the UK, said each one was taking precautions for next week when concerts resume on July 19.

Some measures being taken include staff at the venues wearing face masks, improving ventilation inside, plastic screens being installed on bars and workers urging people not to attend a gig if they are feeling unwell.

However, Mr Davyd stressed that a one-size-fits-all approach would not work as every venue is different.

He told the PA news agency: “Each individual venue is looking at its processes and what they can do to manage risk.

“It’s reliant upon things like the demographics, the local infection rates, the layout of the venue, the staffing of the venue, where they are located, all kinds of different things.

“What we’re encouraging people to do is, before you buy tickets, check out the website of the venue and see what they’re doing to try and protect people.”

He added that there was a “level of responsibility” being given to audiences and he hoped the public would work with the venues to make sure they are also playing their part in preventing infections.

On vaccine passports, he said: “At our level, it’s a complete non-starter at the moment.

“Very, very few venues are going to do this. The reason is that the app itself is no guarantee of anything, except that it says someone has taken a test and they’re negative.

“Fake vaccine passports are already available and online. These things are not rigorous in any way, shape or form at the moment.

“At our level, they provoke a kind of atmosphere of false security. It’s much better to have good ventilation and good communication with the audiences.”

Tom Bott, founder of Signature Brew bars and music venues, said he would not be rolling out the passports at his venues from next week either.

“There’s been a few headlines from politicians suggesting it’d be a good idea, but there’s no thorough guidance on how we should do that,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s for us to curate and implement complicated policies to consumers that could be construed as infringing on their personal rights.

“We want to make the experience of going out a pleasurable and easy experience, and if you put up too many barriers or complications, some people are turned off.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced in the House of Commons on Monday that the Government was going ahead with the final stage of its roadmap on July 19.

He said businesses and large events will be encouraged to use the NHS Covid Pass to ask customers for proof they are double-jabbed or have tested negative for coronavirus, but that it would be “non-compulsory”.

Guidance paperwork issued by the Government on Monday said that if “sufficient measures” were not being taken to limit infection rates, it will consider mandating the Covid Pass “in certain venues at a later date”.