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Bouncer exodus casts doubt on plans to reopen UK nightclubs

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According to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), more than a quarter of the UK’s total security workforce were non-UK nationals in 2018. Photo: Getty

Nightclubs and bars in the UK could struggle to reopen as planned following an exodus of security personnel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many workers have been forced to find work elsewhere after Britain shut down the industry a year ago, while some non-UK nationals have reportedly returned to their home countries due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 and Brexit.

According to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), more than a quarter of the UK’s total security workforce were non-UK nationals in 2018.

Industry officials estimate that more than half of vacancies in the sector could be left vacant, the UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) has said.

As part of the four-step roadmap to exit the lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen no earlier than June 21, but the UKDSA has warned that many were in danger of not being able to reopen safely.

The body has urged the SIA to delay plans due to go into effect in April this year, which will increase the training requirements needed to become a licensed door supervisor.

The government industry regulator, the SIA, said that starting April 1, security personnel must have first aid qualifications before taking the required training to be a door guard.

“We rely heavily on licensed door guards to ensure the safety of staff and customers. With the added responsibility of public health, it is even more important that we remove barriers to ensure we are able to meet demands. resource requirements, ”Michael Kill, managing director of the Night Time Industries Association, said.

READ MORE: British music appealed for vaccine passports for festivals

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected several industries, particularly hospitality, entertainment and sports, which, due to restrictions, remained largely closed in 2020.

Earlier in March, UK festival directors called on the UK government to tell music festival-goers they need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend festivals this summer.

The industry has requested vaccine passports as it prepares to safely reopen. The potential introduction of vaccine passports is a contentious issue in the industry, as uncertainty over the government’s roadmap timeline and new safety regulations mean final confirmation of dates could be further delayed.

The commercial body for the recorded and live music industry said there was a serious risk of cancellation without urgent government assistance. He noted that key decisions had already been made on whether to continue the summer events. The Glastonbury Festival has already announced that it will postpone its 50th anniversary for another year, which will take place in 2022.

The UK music industry contributed 5.8 billion ($ 8 billion) to the UK economy before COVID and supports 200,000 people, three-quarters of whom are self-employed. UK music exports generate 2.9 billion annually

In 2020, festivals saw a 90.2% drop in revenue, and up to half of the live music workforce may have lost their jobs.

LOOK: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?

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