A MAJOR nightclub firm which owns Play in Hereford has confirmed it will not be asking clubbers for vaccine passports when venues fully reopen next week, despite the Government advising to do so following the lifting of restrictions on July 19.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced in the House of Commons on Monday that the Government was going ahead with the final stage of its road map next week when England will enter its “new phase of continued caution” in living with coronavirus.

Mr Javid said businesses and large events will be encouraged to use the NHS Covid Pass to ask punters for proof they are double-jabbed or have tested negative for coronavirus, but that it would be “non-compulsory”.

But Peter Marks, chief executive of REKOM UK, which owns 42 nightclubs including Play in Blue School Street, said the chain wouldn't be following the advice.


Mr Marks said REKOM UK, which owns chains Pryzm, Bar&Beyond, Eden and Fiction, told the PA news agency he was “thrilled” to be able to reopen next Monday “at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative Covid test, something we believe would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet”.

He said reopened nightclubs will operate as pubs are currently running.

Play Nightclub Hereford will open on Monday (July 19), and across the following weekend. In a Facebook post earlier this week, the venue said it had "very limited" tickets left to the first four nights and "from next week we lift all restrictions and you can dance again".

The venue had been open as a "night pub" over recent weeks, with people having to remain seated and follow other Covid rules, but it will be able to open as a nightclub on Monday for the first time since March 2020.


REKOM UK chief Peter Marks added: “We’re able to open in this way because nightclubs in particular are among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector, and indeed were even prior to the pandemic, for the exact safety measures that are required to reduce the spread of the virus.

“These include air ventilation systems in all our venues which change air every five minutes on average, sanitisation stations throughout all our clubs, increased frequency of cleaning schedules compared to before the pandemic, and highly trained staff and experienced door staff who are well-versed in crowd management protocols.

“Together, these measures mean that clubs are well placed to open and provide unforgettable nights out once again.”

At the Downing Street press conference on Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged venues to use the vaccine passport scheme “as a matter of social responsibility”.

Guidance published on the Government website following the press conference said if “sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS Covid Pass in certain venues at a later date”.

Other hospitality venues have said they are awaiting the full Government guidance before they make a decision on whether they will request proof of vaccination from customers.