THE company behind Play Nightclub Hereford says jobs could be at risk after the Government unveiled its latest measures to combat the Omicron Covid variant.

There have been calls from pub and hospitality bosses for the Government to reintroduce tax cuts, furlough and business grants amid fears the new Plan B restrictions would deliver a "devastating" blow to the industry.

At Play Nightclub Hereford, bosses were waiting for official guidance from the Government on vaccine passports, but said it would form part of the current ID checks.

As part of the measures, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said were a "proportionate and responsible" reaction to the spread of the Omicron variant, masks will also now be compulsory in cinemas, theatres and places of worship, but not gyms, bars or restaurants.


From Wednesday the NHS Covid Pass, on the NHS app, will become mandatory for entry into clubs and other large gatherings – classed as indoor events with 500 or more people, unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000, and any event with a crowd of more than 10,000.

For those without the app proof of a negative test through a text message or email from the NHS would be sufficient.

Hereford Times: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference in London's Downing Street after ministers met to consider imposing new restrictions. Picture: Adrian Dennis/PA WirePrime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference in London's Downing Street after ministers met to consider imposing new restrictions. Picture: Adrian Dennis/PA Wire

Venues which fail to comply with the regulations could face fines of up to £10,000.

REKOM UK, the company which owns Play Nightclub Hereford in Blue School Street, said jobs could be at risk as new measures come into force.

Chairman Peter Marks said: "We are disappointed, but sadly not surprised by the government's decision to make vaccine passports compulsory for nightclubs and other late-night venues.

"There is no evidence anywhere in the world that nightclubs have caused an increase in Covid cases."

He argued that if the Government saw the need for compulsory vaccine passports, then it should have done so across the board instead of "singling out" the late-night sector.


"It will have no impact on transmission rates," he said.

"There is no difference being in a busy shop, shopping centre, restaurant, pub or bar, which all attract far greater numbers of people week in week out compared to the numbers of people that go clubbing.

"The late-night economy, particularly nightclubs, has received only one-third of the support of the nearest other hospitality industry by type and a tenth of those deemed cultural venues.

"Many operators have already gone bust and, with these latest measures, many thousands of jobs are at risk across the sector."

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the UKHospitality trade group, said the measures "risk devastating the hospitality sector amid its most important time of the year".

She added: "We therefore desperately need support if we are to survive this latest set of restrictions and urge the Government to stand behind our industry.

"That means full business rates relief, grants, rent protection and extended VAT reductions. Anything less would prove catastrophic."

Firms have seen business rates support heavily reduced in recent months, while VAT across a raft of hospitality products increased from five per cent to 12.5 per cent at the start of October and is set to return to 20% in April.