New ticketing rules for nightclub and live venue operators to come into effect 1 month ago

New ticketing rules for nightclub and live venue operators to come into effect

Nightlife sector representatives had previously requested a two-week grace period.

Government officials have reportedly told nightclub and live venue operators that new rules requiring tickets to be booked at least one hour in advance will come into effect from Thursday (28 October).

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According to RTÉ News, sector representatives were informed at a meeting on Wednesday there would be no grace period to allow businesses time to implement the new guidelines.

This is despite the sector having previously requested a "two-week grace period".

On Friday evening, just hours before clubs threw open their doors, news filtered through that nightclubs must now be ticket-only events, though that element has yet to officially kick in.

As part of the plans, all businesses who wish to operate as a live entertainment venue or nightclub must use electronic ticketing systems as a condition of entry to their premises.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the government told the sector that tickets must be purchased or acquired at least one hour before arrival at live venues or nightclubs.

The tickets must contain details to allow for robust contract tracing.

Speaking about the ticketing system, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar stated on Tuesday he believes "teething problems" will arise in its implementation but that matters will be kept under review.

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"To be very frank, I think there are going to be teething problems and I think there are going to be implementation problems," the Tánaiste said.

"We will keep all of these matters under review and we'll keep engaging with the sector."

Varadkar added that "the most important thing" is getting the sector open, with the "second most important thing" making sure it stays open.

"That's why we want to have a ticketing regime, to make sure that people are fully vaccinated, to make sure that capacity limits are maintained, to make sure that we can do contact tracing if there's an outbreak in a nightclub or in a bar."

Regulations to legally underpin the guidelines are expected to be signed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on Wednesday evening.

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