Spalding nightclub owner slams double vaccination entry plans
A nightclub owner has slammed government plans to only allow double-vaccinated customers into venues.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently revealed blueprints for only letting clubbers who have received both of their Covid-19 jabs onto the dance floor from September onwards.
Matt Clark, who owns XO in Spalding, has voiced his anger at those intentions.
“I think it’s disgusting, to be honest, the way the Government have gone about it,” he said.
“Essentially, it’s just closing us by stealth and without responsibility.
“Having said that, I’m hopeful it’s more of an empty threat than it is something they’re going to act on. I’m hoping it will have the effect they want and more under-30s go and get vaccinated by the time we get to the end of September.”
Mr Clark doesn’t see why nightclubs would be allowed to open if they were deemed unsafe, so has urged the Government to let the industry to get on with things.
He said: “I’m all for controlling the virus and doing what we can do, but I think the Government have delivered the problems to the hospitality industry’s doors instead of taking responsibility themselves.
“If it’s safe for us to open, they should let us open and take the measures we believe are appropriate - as we will be doing.
“It’s not as though we’ll be opening our doors and having a free-for-all. Our staff have masks on, we have cleaners in, we are encouraging people to use sanitising fluids at every door.”
When it comes to potentially coercing people into getting their vaccinations, Mr Clark’s thoughts are clear.
“When you start talking about them actually enforcing people to put a chemical inside their body that isn’t fully tested, I just don’t know how it’s legal,” he said.
“I speak from a position of having my double jab, I’m quite happy to take the vaccine myself. I’ve had Covid myself, I’ve had members of my family die from it. I understand the effects of it.
“Ultimately, we are supposed to live in a free country where people do have freedom of choice.
“Therefore, if they do want to go into a high-risk environment without taking precautionary measures of a vaccine or mask, surely if we’re going to live with this virus then people have to be able to make those choices independently.
“Does it get to the point where you can’t go to the supermarket without having your jabs?”
On a more positive note, Mr Clark said XO’s opening night last Sunday went exceedingly well.
“It was great,” he said.
“It was two or three times more busy than we anticipated. We’d sold out a couple of days before the event, so we released some extra tickets.
“We hosted a pre-bar where we brought people in at ten o’clock with social distancing and face masks, and then at midnight we opened up the doors to the main dance floor.
“Everyone went crazy and ran in.
“We had two main doors to the club opened, and 150 to 200 people all running to the dance floor, throwing their masks off and having a whale of a time.
“There was some hugging and kissing too!
“It was an absolutely electric atmosphere and it was brilliant to be part of it.
“I really enjoyed being there myself and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the customers.
“The demand for this first proper weekend back has been brilliant.”