Glasgow City Council’s licensing team recently confirmed that two complaints had been made to them in November 2021 regarding the O2 Academy and Firewater’s approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus.
What were the complaints?
Complaints made about the O2 Academy, which is situated on Eglinton Street, raised concerns about vaccination checks but council officers said they found the correct procedures in place when they visited the venue.
The licensing team also engaged with Firewater, based on Sauchiehall Street, to provide guidance and extra information on the passport scheme and received no further complaints after their visit.
Sources have also said they were not asked for proof of vaccination at various venues across the city centre when they were out celebrating Halloween and Christmas.
These included bars licensed to open until 3am as well as nightclubs.
Stephen Bark, a concerned customer, said: “I support the vaccine passport scheme because I think it’s a simple way to help keep everyone safe but I don’t think it’s being used as effectively as it could.
“I got checked when I was going to the football once but I’ve yet to have to produce it at a nightclub. All they have to do is look at it, an extra 10 seconds to get in is nothing. If you don’t have it, it’s like turning up without your ID, pointless.”
Scotland’s vaccine passport system was launched on October 1 last year, and meant that people needed to prove they had been fully vaccinated before entering a nightclub or large event.
Despite Covid passes no longer being mandatory in England, passports are still required to enter nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues in Scotland.
Advice issued from the Scottish Government stated that large events with 1000 attendees or more should make a judgement call on whether or not it is practical to check every vaccine status.
From January 2022, businesses have been required to check the certification of 50 per cent of customers or at least 1000 people – whichever is higher.
Glasgow City Council’s environmental health team is responsible for enforcing the Covid regulations in the city.
How has the council responded?
A spokesman said: “Our environmental health team has a direct responsibility for enforcing the Covid regulations in relation to businesses.
“The approach has been to ensure businesses comply with the restrictions intended to prevent the spread of Covid and in the vast majority of instances, businesses have worked extremely hard to comply with the regulations.
“Where complaints have been received about specific businesses and where necessary, we work with owners and operators to ensure they have the correct information on what is required of them, which is an approach that has worked well.”
The best way for people to raise a Covid-related issue in respect of a business is to go through the council’s city services group.”
O2 and Firewater have been asked for comment