Continuing restrictions will mean heavy losses for night time economy, says report

Writer:

Paul Genty

24 Jun 2021

Pilots show night economy will be affected by even minor restrictions after July 19

Events taking place even after the expected raising of Covid restrictions in July could be severely affected financially if anti-virus measures were to continue in any form, political website Politico suggests.

A report says even low-level measures - continued mask wearing, for example - could have a significant effect, with turnover down by around 18 per cent on 2019’s pre-Covid levels. If the government wanted “medium-level” measures for people attending theatres - wearing masks for two hours, a vaccination certificate and a ban on the serving of alcohol - the industry might achieve only around 78 per cent of 2019 income levels, even with the removal of a cap on numbers. 

The events industry would be “devastated by huge losses” even with minimal requirements, says Politico, based on assessments by the government’s Events Research Programme. This used pilot mass-attendance events to test various scenarios for the fourth step of the government’s lock down “roadmap”. The worst, “high-intervention” projection - face mask, vaccination certificate, an attendance cap and a ban on food or drink service - would see turnover plunge to only 69 per cent of its 2019 figures, with indoor, seated venues such as theatres down by further 10 per cent on that and night clubs falling to under 40 per cent.

The findings of the research project have not yet been officially published, but they appear to be merely economic, “what if” assessments rather than reflecting government thinking. 

It remains widely understood that when roadmap restrictions are dropped on July 19, there will be no insistence on anti-Covid measures of any kind - though many theatres are expected to institute voluntary minor restrictions such as mask-wearing, at least for some performances, to help worried patrons return.