The likes of nightclubs and theatres could reopen their doors to the public thanks to the help of rapid Covid-19 tests, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested.
While speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Monday (15 Feb), Johnson said that the use of lateral flow tests could be the “route forward” to reopening those businesses that have been “the toughest to crack”.
Nightclubs have been closed since the beginning of the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Theatres like the Royal & Derngate have also struggled to operate under social distancing guidelines.
Since the theatre had to shut, the business has been running without 90 percent of its expected income.
Hundreds of shows have been cancelled or postponed and the Government has since been thrown the Northampton theatre a £2.1 million lifeline from the Cultural Recovery Fund.
The Prime Minister said that he expects there to be an increase in “rapid testing” as more people get vaccinated, which might then be introduced to show and club-goers upon entry into nightclubs and performances.
But the vast majority of people in Northampton feel like while it might get the town’s economy back on its feet again – it might not be a risk worth taking for the sake of our own health.
Mike Oxlhonge said: “I'd rather everything was kept closed until we know things are safe. It’s all well and good getting tested but by the time someone tests positive how many people have they spread the virus to?”
Jodie Power added: “Perhaps if I'd had the vaccine. I don't have any issues being tested but if it's still seemed dangerous enough to warrant a test then it really shouldn't be open anyway.”
Drew Kirtland-Blundell commented: “I’d do it! Why not? If it meant I had to wait 15 to 20 minutes but got some sort of normality and was able to enjoy gigs and shows again, I’d be well up for that!”
The Government says that lateral flow testing is “a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus”.
The tests give results in 30 minutes, and usually involve taking a sample from the back of the throat, near the tonsils, and from the nose, using a swab.
Luna Kitty Tsukino added: “No absolutely not! It’s another loop hole or quick fix, just like Eat Out To Help Out. It's just going to cause more problems than it solves. The government need to stop trying to fix their mistakes with these stupid ideas. None of the countries that are covid free/low have had to do anything like this. They took it seriously and listened to the experts. Our economy is struggling, yes that's what happens. But our healthcare, key workers and overall infection rate are struggling just as much, if not more.”