Merry Christmas! (We’re ready and able to cope with new Covid rules)

It’s ‘business as usual’ for Christmas on Westside this week, despite the government’s new Plan B coronavirus restrictions from tomorrow.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, explained that the majority of venues are unaffected, while venues such as nightclubs that need to check vaccine passports are all geared up to smooth the flow.

He said: “Nightlife customers coming to Westside should be reassured that our venues will be working hard to meet all new government requirements, including any need to share vaccine passports.

“While the extra burden will be a challenge, the managers and door staff involved will absolutely make sure they meet that challenge.

“After all, you don’t get to be a general manager, or indeed to work on Broad Street in hospitality, if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

On top of Covid passes, the government has already reintroduced its ‘work from home’ guidance which is expected to have an impact on businesses as fewer people will be in town, hitting daytime and after work trade.

The Night Time Industries Association says the new rules have come at the worst possible time, with the pre-Christmas period being ‘absolutely crucial’ for the hospitality sector.

But Mr Olley said: “This is not something that we have just started to do. It is the case that all our general managers are incredibly responsible and responsive to the fluid government statutory requirements.

“We are well adept at managing the flux that the government throws at us.”

He added: “Our focus is always in the interests of our customers. I have no doubt that if you come to Broad Street, Brindleyplace or Broadway Plaza you are guaranteed a safe and enjoyable time.

“You will be well looked after by the highest professional standards and integrity that we can possibly expect anywhere in the United Kingdom.”

The first part of the government’s Plan B strategy came into force last Friday with the introduction of compulsory face masks in theatres and cinemas, on top of the previously required shops and on public transport.

If people do not have an NHS Covid pass to get into a nightclub from tomorrow (Wednesday) then a recent negative lateral flow test can also be used.

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