A shortage in nightclub security staff could stop venues from opening their doors later this year.
As the UK gears up to reopen the hospitality and nightlife sectors, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that nightclubs across the country could be reopened as soon as the 21st June, a shortage in security staff could potentially prevent nightclubs from reopening in the coming months.
According to a report published by the BBC, the UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) has said that the shortage is due mainly to security staff changing careers following the closure of venues, and a number of staff who are not UK nationals returning to their home countries following Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. The UKDSA also estimated that half of clubs may not have enough the security staff to reopen in June.
Stuart Glen, co-founder of London club The Cause, told the BBC that "it's going to be more pressured" when the venue does open its doors. The Tottenham space, which has remained shuttered since last March due to the coronavirus, has recently announced a marathon opening weekend set to take place in June.
"When we go back on 21st June every operator in our field, every festival, nightclub, bar, restaurant, theatre, every event has been gagging to get back on track and suddenly everyone is going to say we need security staff," he said. "If we can't find the staff then we physically can't open. It's a major issue".
The UKDSA is also calling for the new security training regulations, which are due to come into force in April, to be postponed to help agencies recruit new security staff more quickly and allow a smooth reopening of the sector. The new regulations include mandatory first aid training, plus additional training to deal with terror threats and other emergencies.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced a programme titled “Project Vigilant”, which could see plainclothes police officers stationed around nightclubs and bars, as well as increased ununiformed police presence outside clubs at closing time.