INA defends nightlife venues as safe spaces

The INA defends nightlife venues as safe spaces

Ibiza drives a pilot test in June to push reopening this summer


These past months have paved the way for numerous successful pilot tests conducted in nightlife spaces with prior covid testing. Recently, the UK government has shared the positive data of the pilot event that took place in Liverpool (under the UK’s Event Research Programme) where there was no social distancing or masks enforced. Among the primary findings were that when screening and efficient ventilation is introduced, the risk of transmission of covid is greatly reduced. Precisely, among the 60,000 attendees in 9 large-scale events, only 15 tested positive, hence the evidence from the Events Research Programme will be used by the government to shape its policy for the return of crowds to venues including theatres, cinemas, and nightclubs.

Some other nightlife events have taken place in cities such as Amsterdam, where 1,300 people attended a music event at the Ziggo Dome designed to examine the risks of reopening venues and plan for the easing of lockdown restrictions. Also in Spain, INA’s Gold Member Venue Sala Apolo Barcelona held a successful pilot event and there was also a successful concert in Palau Sant Jordi Barcelona with 5,000 people and the obligation of previous test, an FFP2 mask but no social distancing this past March. Recently, in Sitges, bars and nightclubs opened up to over 400 volunteers with previous screening and have proven to run smoothly though the results have not been shared yet.

It's safe to say that the spike in illegal parties is due to the lack of legal nightlife offer and the need for social interaction between “socially starved” clubbers especially after having to endure the consequences of being in quarantine and having to comply with strict curfews. Restrictions are being reduced worldwide but nightlife is still being highly limited, causing chaos in the streets and disorderly conduct not being able to be contained by law enforcement. Due to this and the numerous pilot tests that have been conducted proving that nightlife activities can run with prior screening, the time to regain nightlife’s new normal is now.

Ocio de Ibiza drives a pilot test in June to push reopening

Ibiza’s Nightlife Association (Ocio de Ibiza) which is adhered to the INA has asked the Balearic Government to establish a very clear roadmap in the process of reopening of the industry on the island which includes a specific schedule of openings, opening and closing times, and preventive measures to be applied by all day and nightlife establishments.

The Association’s statement has expressed to the Government the concern of employers and workers in the industry for the lack of definition of the Administration when establishing a roadmap for the opening of nightlife facilities. The Association put the initiatives that are carried out in other parts of Spain and the world through pilot tests on the table to organize the future reopening of the premises, experiences that for the most part have been organized with the support of local health authorities.

In this sense, the Association intends and has the green light to carry out a pilot reopening test to assess how to return to activity safely and having "very clear" the conditions that the premises must meet. Ocio de Ibiza reaffirms their intention and the good relationship and communication they have with the administration, convinced that only by joining forces will it be possible for Ibiza to be a safe, attractive, desired and, sought-after destination.

The Association admits that unfortunately, the goal of opening nightclubs in June has faded, but maintains its confidence that all establishments will be able to reopen this summer. To this end, that the Association has proposed that the pilot test - to be held in two different nightclubs yet to be determined - to assess the gradual reopening of the sector could be held between 15 and 30 June. This experiment would be developed in collaboration with health authorities to create a safe environment.

Ocio de Ibiza continues to rely on the goal set by the central government and the European Union (EU) to reach the summer with 70% of the Spanish population vaccinated. The arrival of more dose remittances to the islands, coupled with the acceleration of mass vaccination of the population and the maintenance of controls at the airport and ports will be key factors in advancing the elimination of restrictions, according to the island's manager. Ocio de Ibiza insists that employers and workers in the sector need to start planning their immediate future.

The INA demands governments to reopen venues with previous screening or vaccination passport

The results of the pilot tests that have already been conducted and their highly successful results prove the need for reopening nightlife spaces is essential to face the sanitary crisis head-on. Bringing possible solutions forward would be a better solution than just shutting down venues as a whole and allow for illegal gatherings to take place without nightlife offer around.

The nightlife industry can be a solution to the current pandemic since it could be a primary detection source together with the governing authorities and act as a firewall to contain the spread of the virus.

Joaquim Boadas, General Secretary of the INA has stated, “Some countries are already working with different nightlife associations and entrepreneurs to find a way to reopen venues, though the starting plan is far from what nightlife venues are wishing for. After being closed or highly limited for more than a year, closing dance floors, not being able to serve alcohol, and limiting closing hours is not a viable option”.