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UK music venues to trial “health passports” as a way to way restart events safely

Trials will be held in Bristol and London

UK music venues are set to trial “health passports” as a way to way restart events safely.

While the future of the UK's nightlife remains uncertain amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a new system of digital “health passports” is hoping to speed up the process, with trails of the new app due to take place next month.

The app, You Check, was originally designed as a ticket system to combat touts, and has now been adapted to connect with test, track and trace software, as approved by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Providing users recieve a negative coronavirus test, the digital passports could allow gig access for up to 48 hours following a negative result. 

The trials are expected to take place in March, at London's 100 Club and The Exchange in Bristol. The venues will be at 25% of total capacity, with subjects required to take two tests, and You Check hope the app will become suitable for nationwide use.

“Hospitality is used to rules, it lends itself to this system, and we will, hopefully, have trials going by the spring,” Fred Krefting, founder and COO of You Check, told Event Industry News. “It’s important to work alongside government when running these pilots and we’re grateful to the DCMS for giving us the go-ahead.”

As it approaches 12 months since clubs across the UK were shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NTIA has surveyed over 100 clubs about the current struggles they are facing, primarily the lack of appropriate financial support, and an unclear exit strategy for reopening venues. Of the 100 nightclubs surveyed, which included London's Egg, Sub Club in Glasgow, and Hangar, the NTIA found that 88% of clubs in the UK are in over two months worth of rent arrears, 86% had been forced to make redundancies — with over 65% making over 60% of their workforce redundant before the end of 2020 — and 43% had still not recieved any kind of financial support or grant from the government.

While the UK Government has been vocal about financial support offered to everything from music venues to theatres, critics continue to argue more money and targeted support is needed. Kill has previously said that "the Government has led us to believe that they are intentionally aiming to collapse our sector".