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As the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly, the UK Government – amidst controversy around the behaviour of senior politicians during last year’s lockdown – has rushed through “Plan B” vaccine passport and facemark restrictions in England. It means that face masks are needed for all venues – and attendees of nightclubs or unseated indoor venues with over 500 people (4,000 outdoor) require Covid certificates that show either full vaccination or a negative lateral flow test. (Scotland rolled out similar policies in October.)

Responses from the UK’s live industry were mixed, reported live music platform IQ.UK trade body LIVE said: “The introduction of Plan B results in an unfair double standard that allows people to go on all-day pub crawls in crowded bars without having to prove their Covid-19 status, whilst live music venues get hit with certification.”

Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust, which represents over 900 grassroots music venues, said “we are pleased that the government has listened to the grassroots music venue sector and adopted a Covid Pass policy that recognises testing,” continuing that the Trust’s “#TakeaTest policy”, which encouraged gig-goers to get voluntarily tested “has been extremely successful.”

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