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VENUES FACE STAFF SHORTAGES

The vast majority of venues and clubs in the U.K. may have to temporarily close parts of their operations or reduce hours due to staff being asked to self-isolate, according to a survey by the Night Time Industries Association.

In the U.K., members of the public who have had possible contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus are asked to enter a 10-day quarantine via the NHS test-and-trace app. Just one week after the live music scene was able to fully open, NTIA says that 78% of businesses lost staff due to self-isolation rules.

The survey says this has resulted in nighttime businesses losing 25% of their workforce over a seven-day period, and 72% are saying they will have to temporarily close parts of their venue or reduce operating hours due to staff shortages. Some businesses have had to close completely.

Industry leaders are calling for a test-and-release scheme that would allow hospitality and event staff to avoid isolation by producing a negative test. 

Michael Kill, Chief Executive of NTIA, said last-minute staffing deficiencies are resulting in “carnage brought to operations,” elaborating, “This has become a logistical nightmare for managers and team members, has hindered our ability to plan and has brought with it similar operational challenges to what we faced during the lockdowns but without the corresponding government support.”

There might be improvements as a result of the contact-tracing app becoming less sensitive—on Monday, an update was released that will allow contacts of those who've tested positive to be traced over a two-day period, rather than the previous five days. 

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