We are asking you for a chance to survive 2021!
Once again, our sector, which contributes £46 billion to the culture economy and employs 425 thousand people, has suffered enormous damage as a result of the Government response to the pandemic in recent weeks. It’s likely that tens of thousands of our businesses will never recover from this damage. Most of these are small and medium sized owner run businesses that play a vital part in the cultural, social, and economic lives of our towns and cities. And if that is not bad enough, we now face the possibility that major parts of our sector may face further curbs, and, in the case of night clubs, total closure immediately after Christmas. In a very real sense, we are facing the Sword of Damocles.
We have always respected and acknowledged that public health is of paramount importance and have played our part in the crisis, although extremely challenging, have tried to work through the constraints and restrictions placed upon us.
However, there are increasingly promising reports that the Omicron variant, though highly transmissible may not be as aggressive as previous variants. We also restate our view, that is backed up by data, that it has been clear for some time that late night economy venues, particularly nightclubs, similar to other setting and with the appropriate measures in place, are not a major source of virus transmission.
Even so, given the extended restrictions including covid certification recently enforced by you, this should be enough to give people the confidence in your leadership and assure them that they can, in fact participate in night life safely, through these measures. Full closure of venues on top of this does not give people any confidence in your current mitigations and backs our sector into a corner with no chance of survival, based on very little scientific evidence.
Connecting through music, dance and socialising in our communities is an essential part of physical, social and mental wellbeing and during this extremely difficult time especially needed to give people hope. We must open! We do not want to rely on public funding, but you are giving us no choice. And the little gesture of support given recently, is simply not enough for many business to survive. We have worked so hard and invested heavily to keep our customers and staff safe, against all adversity, and continue to present safe well-regulated spaces for people to come together safely and enjoy a night out!
In view of the above, we urge you to act with clarity and decisiveness, as soon as the data allows, to firmly reject calls for further draconian measures against our sector as we fear that they will be unnecessary and will not contribute to the fight against the virus. Every hour of uncertainty condemns thousands of businesses to failure with all the human, social and economic consequences that entails,
Let’s not end this year as we did last!
End the uncertainty and Let Us Dance on New Year’s Eve.