Tickets booked an hour in advance expected as part of late-night event rules

Tickets Booked An Hour In Advance Expected As Part Of Late-Night Event Rules Tickets Booked An Hour In Advance Expected As Part Of Late-Night Event Rules
Dublin nightlife, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Dominic McGrath, PA

Tickets for nightclubs and late-night events will be required to be booked at least an hour in advance under new Covid-19 regulations, it is understood.

Pub and late-night industry representatives met with Government officials on Tuesday morning.

It is understood that ticketing will be electronic and must be booked at least an hour in advance.

Regulations are expected to be published on Thursday, bringing the new rules into effect.

This will mean that late-night venues will need to have the ticketing system in place and ready for customers on Thursday night.

Initial Government guidelines for nightclubs were published on Friday evening, just before clubs reopened for the first time in nearly 600 days.

The guidelines said that, alongside a Covid-19 certificate and photographic ID, anyone attending a nightclub will need to have bought a ticket in advance.



However, some details are yet to be ironed out between the Government and the industry.

It is understood that representatives at the meeting on Tuesday asked for a two-week delay to the introduction of the rules to give them time to prepare for the new regulations.

Government officials said at the meeting that only ticket holders should be allowed in queues outside nightclubs and entertainment venues.

Concern has already been expressed about the impact the rules will have on Ireland’s night-time economy.

Sunil Sharpe, from the Give Us The Night campaign, said: “For club promoters and venues, a lot of them have moved towards ticketed events, especially over the last five years. But in any case, they’ve always had the advantage of the walk-up crowd, which is really vital, especially as we move into the winter.”

He said that many entertainment operators and the public may go across the border to Northern Ireland instead.

“It is anti-competitive. It’s going to be really difficult for hospitality and entertainment and night-time venues to manage. We could lose a significant amount of footfall.

“There’s lots of logistical issues,” he added.

“We haven’t actually seen the final guidelines yet. We all gave our feedback,” he told RTÉ radio following the meeting on Tuesday.



Ian Redmond of The Tramline told RTÉ radio’s News at One that he could not “fathom” the one-hour requirement. “How is one hour going to stop the spread of the virus?”

Contact tracing information was stored on a club’s database which meant the information would be available in the event of an outbreak at a premises, he said.

Some venues would suffer as a result of this requirement, he said.

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On the same programme promoter Buzz O’Neill said that people were not going to buy tickets in advance for some premises which would harm the industry. The Eventbrite system collected data and even allowed people to pay in advance.

What the Government had decided was what the industry had “begged” the Department (of Health) not to do, he added. “They’re putting up another roadblock for us.”

“Today’s story should have been about an incredible weekend of compliance.”

People had got “on board” with the new rules and regulations. Who was going to police queues, he asked. It was really not workable in the late night sector.

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