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Rapid lateral flow tests could be key to reopening of clubs and venues
The UK's prime minister, Boris Johnson addressed the nation at a Downing Street press conference yesterday, suggesting the use of lateral flow tests could be key in getting the night time industries moving once more
Date published: 16th Feb 2021
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has recently suggested that the use of lateral flow Covid tests, combined with the continued rollout of vaccines, could be key to the reopening of clubs, venues and theatres across the UK, as restrictions are gradually eased throughout the year.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference yesterday, Johnson said the use of the 'rapid' lateral flow tests, which return either a positive or negative result within 30 minutes and are currently being offered to people in various settings - from universities to schools, care homes and workplaces - could be the 'route forward' to reopening business sectors that have been 'the toughest nuts to crack', over the past 12 months.
Although optimistic, the prime minister followed up by stressing that many discussions were still being had regarding various safety concerns and the measures that would need to be implemented to make the return to clubs and venues safe, saying that it was 'still early days'.
Watch the prime ministers Downing Street press conference, from yesterday in full below...
Night clubs and live music venues throughout Britain have now been dormant since the pandemic began back in March 2020, and although theatres were allowed to open their doors and welcome a limited number of attendees throughout the summer last year, many struggled to make the social distancing work.
Micheal Kill, the head of the NTIA or Night Time Industries Association - a trade association and membership organisation that promotes the unique contribution of The Night Time Industry in the UK and internationally - spoke out about the prime ministers intended plan to use lateral flow testing to get the nations nightlife sector moving again.
He said, "administering rapid tests will not be straightforward, even if it is the way venues like nightclubs are allowed to reopen."
He continued by saying, "professionals would be required to administer swab tests outside the venue, where clubbers would need to wait for at least 15 minutes to get a negative result before being allowed in. That would force venues to stagger admissions and have procedures in place to deal with positive cases and those who they come into contact with."
Mr Kill also proposed a plan to allow music fans to take the lateral flow tests the day before the event they intended to attend, under the supervision of a health professional, to make the whole process less difficult and inconvenient.
You can read Mr Kill's full statement, welcoming the prime ministers announcement yesterday, below: