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Boris Johnson faces backlash over ‘shambolic’ Covid certificate plans for nightclubs

The Prime Minister said a negative Covid test will ‘no longer be enough’

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@hiddenclubmcr / Instagram & Number 10 / Flickr

Boris Johnson’s plan for people to need Covid certificates to enter nightclubs and other ‘crowded venues’ from September has been condemned as ‘shambolic.’

In his Covid briefing yesterday afternoon, it was announced that Covid certificates – received upon getting both vaccination jabs – will be made compulsory for crowded venues such as nightclubs in a bid to boost vaccine uptake among young people.

The vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the new rule, described as a ‘sensible and pragmatic approach,’ will come into place at the end of September.

Ministers hope the move will help to encourage younger people to have the jab over the summer.

Antoine Julien / Unsplash

In the hours following the announcement, however, many officials and executives in the industry spoke out and condemned the government’s move, calling it ‘damaging’ and ‘shambolic.’

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said, as per Sky News: “The announcement from the prime minister that COVID passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs in September comes after his health secretary said only one week ago that they would not be compulsory.

“What an absolute shambles.”

He continued: “Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another chaotic U-turn that will leave nightclubs who have been planning for reopening for months will now have to make more changes to the way they operate – this is still a bad idea.”

Number 10 / Flickr

Sacha Lord, the night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, also voiced his concerns over the new rule, saying that the whole industry had been ‘taken by surprise.’

He wrote on Twitter: “Obvious questions over how these checks will be enforced, and the financial impact. How can nightclubs compete with pubs and bars down the road where these restrictions aren’t needed, or attract punters who can just as easily have a house party?!”

Just hours before the announcement, Manchester’s nightclubs ended their sixteen month drought as they welcomed in maskless guests to take to their dance floors once again. Lengthy queues were seen outside of various venues across the city as eager party-goers waited for their first night out in over a year.

As it stands, people can still attend nightclubs and other crowded venues without proof of full vaccination, face masks or social distancing. 

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Sir David Amess MP has died after stabbing incident, police say

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Sir David Amess / Twitter & Richard Townshend

A Conservative MP has died after being stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reported earlier this afternoon.

According to police, he was treated by emergency services but died at the scene.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

He received treatment at the scene for his injuries, with emergency services at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with. 

Police said in a statement: “A man has been arrested on suspicion murder after a man was stabbed in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today (Friday 15 October).

“We attended and found a man injured.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.

“A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.

“He is currently in custody.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

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Conservative MP Sir David Amess stabbed multiple times in ‘major incident’

JUST IN…

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Richard Townshend

According to reports this afternoon, a Conservative MP has been stabbed multiple times in his constituency.

Sir David Amess was attacked during an incident at his constituency surgery, Sky News reports.

Sir David represents Southend West in Essex, and was reportedly attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.

According to Sky News, a man walked into his constituency surgery and stabbed the MP multiple times.

The latest updates suggest he has been receiving treatment at the scene for his injuries, and police are reportedly at the scene.

The road surrounding the location has been closed off while the incident is dealt with.

Essex Police have confirmed a man has now been arrested. 

They wrote on Twitter: “A man’s been arrested following an incident in Leigh-on-Sea.

“We were called to reports of a stabbing in Eastwood Rd North shortly after 12.05pm.

“A man was arrested shortly after & we’re not looking for anyone else.

“We’ll bring you more info when we have it.”

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The Manchester Christmas Markets is moving to Piccadilly Gardens this year

Big changes for the Christmas Markets this year…

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Manchester City Council & David Dixon / Geograph

Manchester’s beloved Christmas Markets are making a grand return to the city this year, but its main hub will be found in a different location.

While the heart of the markets is usually centered around Albert Square, ongoing renovations to the Town Hall have forced them to move to Piccadilly Gardens, the council have confirmed today.

The area will be transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with all the usual yuletide bars, market stalls and food huts.

Plans for the Winter Gardens also include a one-way system and separate entrances and exits, as well as a strict limit on visitors to limit the spread of Covid-19.

David Dixon / Geograph

They are also adding a fully accessible toilet to make the Winter Garden as inclusive as possible.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome back our world-famous Christmas Markets and the addition of the Winter Gardens for the very first time.

“Manchester has been the capital of Christmas for twenty-two years since the very first Christmas Market arrived in the UK in 1999 and we know it was a huge disappointment that we had to scale back our celebrations last year.

“We’re making up for lost time this year and I can’t wait to see the transformation in the city centre into the festive wonderland we know and love.”

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

Last year, in what would have been the markets’ twenty-first birthday, the festivities were cancelled as a result of the pandemic, much to the dismay of Mancunians all across the region.

At the time, Councillor Karney said that even the proposed smaller markets didn’t meet public health approval, adding that the council ‘could never take any risks’ with people’s wellbeing.

He said: “We’ve cancelled everything. It’s not met our commercial and public health tests, so the three markets in those locations have been cancelled, and won’t take place. It was a million miles from the traditional Christmas Markets, which obviously people would have been very anxious about.”

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