'Dancing is the trigger for ticketing': New rules confirmed for nightclubs

'Dancing is the trigger for ticketing': New rules confirmed for nightclubs

An industry source said: "Any time there is dancing, it will have to be ticketed. Dancing is the trigger for ticketing, dancing in any way shape or form." File photo

New rules for nightclubs will require people to buy electronic tickets at least one hour before arriving at the venue. 

The rules will be implemented from Thursday but there have been no indications from government how long the guidelines will last.

Representatives from the hospitality sector, including the Hotels Federation, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Licenced Vintners Federation, joined officials from the Department of Tourism and the Department of Enterprise for an hour-long meeting, in which the industry said the new rules are "unworkable".

The hospitality representatives were told that congregating outside entrance doors will not be permitted and only ticket holders are to be allowed in queues.

"The industry made it clear that they don't think it is workable, they don't agree and don't support it," one source said.

"Any time there is dancing, it will have to be ticketed. Dancing is the trigger for ticketing, dancing in any way, shape, or form.

"This is a government decision only."

The regulations are to be signed on Thursday and another meeting is scheduled after that date but no time or date has been set.

It is expected the new rules will come into effect on Thursday night.

It is understood that no solution was offered by government officials about what rules apply when a traditional bar becomes a late-venue, similar to a nightclub.

"It was pointed out that if people are in a bar at 8pm and music starts, it wasn't clear what guidelines would apply," the industry source said.

The officials made clear that ticketing is still required but no solution was offered by the government.

"It will be up to the industry to come up with a solution."

Industry representatives also asked for a two-week moratorium for the new rules, however, this was not agreed.

"This will require more staff, more money for websites and ticketing, another issue is having electronic scanners for tickets," the source added.

"They will have to be ordered from China, which will take a lot longer than two weeks.

"The industry doesn't think it's workable in the short term but we have to get on with it."

Face coverings are still required at all times for employees in front-facing roles and by all patrons other than when they are seated at their table or when dancing, drinking or eating.

The Tánaiste has admitted that there are “going to be “teething problems” with nightclub reopenings.

“I think the most important thing was that we were able to get the nighttime economy, nightlife sector open,” Leo Varadkar said.

“To be very frank, I think there are going to be teething problems.

“We want them to stay open. We're heading into a difficult period in the pandemic, a difficult period for our health service and it's really important in my mind that we keep these sectors open and that means working together.” 

Mr Varadkar added that the measures would be kept “under review.” 

 “In order for the sector to stay open, in order for us to allow the nighttime economy and nightlife to operate we’re going to need to make sure that anyone attending nighttime events is fully vaccinated so that we don't see crowding in certain places, and that we make sure that that we're able to do contact tracing and that nothing is over-capacity.

“All of these rules and restrictions are there for a reason and I just hope that people appreciate that."

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