Music promoter wants balanced debate on easing restrictions
A music promoter has called for a balanced debate on easing restrictions as nightclubs are expected to reopen later this month.
oe Dougan has been promoting the Custom House Square concerts over the summer and said the hospitality industry deserves credit for complying with safety measures.
This follows criticism from the head of the British Medical Association in Northern Ireland, Dr Tom Black, who called the latest easing of executive restrictions ‘schizophrenic’, saying he risked more deaths at some point. where health services were already overwhelmed.
Alliance Party for Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MP also called the decision to reopen nightclubs “totally baffling”, noting that Health Minister Robin Swann had predicted that the NHS would “probably face the most difficult winter ever”.
From October 31, people will be allowed to move freely in reception areas and indoor areas. Nightclubs can also reopen, and people won’t have to use masks indoors.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Dougan said he understood the pressures on health services, but entertainment venues took safety concerns seriously.
“From our point of view, it should be taken into account that we have not been able to negotiate in any capacity for over 18 months,” he said.
“We are in a different position than we were at the same time last year because the vaccination is there and it is working.
“We have always followed the public health advice that exists, so what we are doing by reopening nightclubs is okay. Mr Dougan said his company had Covid vaccine certification at all of their events and was the first to do so in Northern Ireland for recent outdoor concerts such as Sir Tom Jones at Custom House Square from Belfast in August.
“We’ve gotten really good at doing it and it’s working, people are buying into it. It has also been proven in England that the spread of Covid does not occur in large quantities in hotel establishments such as nightclubs and bars.
“It’s happening in schools and homes.
He added: “Let’s say the first night back is October 31, if we didn’t have events that people could attend, they would just meet in homes or other private places where there is no. has no regulations.
“On our side, we have the potential to regulate that and also do a very good job.
“I think it’s Dr Black’s job to defend the interests of the health services, but I think he’s always had a pretty pessimistic view of the likelihood of things like the hospitality reopening.
“I think it’s important to balance all of these things rather than looking at them from a particular point of view.
“I would like to stress that we have shown that we are responsible operators and that we have adopted a holistic view of the subject. “
On Friday, the Ministry of Health confirmed that there had been seven other deaths linked to Covid-19 bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 2,646 as well as 1,355 new positive cases.