Published: 13 December 2021 by Andy Grimsey
Subject to parliamentary approval, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1416/pdfs/uksi_20211416_en.pdf will come into effect at 6 am on the 15th of December, and apply to England.
The regulations contain very detailed provisions relating to the requirement to demonstrate Covid vaccination status on entry to certain venues and events.
In summary, they include nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques (but not when the venue is not acting as a nightclub, for example by closing the dancefloor); other venues that are open at any point between 1 am and 5 am, serve alcohol after 1 am, have a dance floor or space for dancing and provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing; and certain indoor events with 500 or more attendees, outdoor events with 4000 or more attendees (both where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event), and any events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor.
There are exemptions, including weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, funerals, events in private houses where people do not have to pay or hold a ticket to enter, and receptions celebrating a wedding or other significant life event.
The responsible person – the organiser or manager of the premises – of a relevant venue or event is required to take reasonable measures to check attendees’ Covid-19 status, and is legally required to deny entry if a customer does not meet the entry requirements.
The NHS Covid pass is a valid proof of vaccination status. A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace can also be used as proof of a completed negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours, in accordance with the proposed requirements.
Similar schemes from Scotland, Wales and indeed the EU Digital Covid pass for example are also acceptable.
The fixed penalty for providing false or misleading evidence of Covid status to another person is £10,000.
There are enforcement and inspection provisions, including Covid Improvement notices and Covid Restriction notices, which, where issued by an appropriate officer can potentially result in closure of the premises.
This is a very brief summary of the main provisions. The Government guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrying-out-mandatory-covid-19-status-checks-at-your-venue-or-event provides further detail.
Further comment to follow.
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