Venue fears it will see fewer punters over Plan B Covid rules

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Picture: Epic Studios - Credit: Epic Studios

A Norwich venue has said it expects to see a fall in attendance after the introduction of new coronavirus restrictions. 

Epic Studios is among the hospitality venues facing reintroducing measures after prime minister Boris Johnson announcement Plan B guidelines in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Magdalen Street venue, which has upcoming events including an 1980s night with Martin Kemp, said customers would be required to show proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test.

Laura Rycroft, general manager of Epic Studios in Norwich 

Laura Rycroft, general manager of Epic Studios in Norwich - Credit: Contributed

Entertainment venues are also required to impose a requirement for people to wear face masks. 

General manager Laura Rycroft said: “We foresee longer queues to get into the venue due to the extra checks we will be doing to ensure those attending our events have either been double vaccinated or can provide proof of a negative test, however we will be working closely with our security team to get people into the venue as quickly as possible.

Epic Studios have had a state-of-the-art Martin Audio MLA PA system installed - the fourth of it's k

Epic Studios in Norwich is hosting music events in the run up to Christmas including a visit by Martin Kemp. - Credit: Epic Studios

“We anticipate that there will be a decline in attendance numbers, this will be due to a combination of concerns over coming into contact with Covid particularly this close to Christmas as well as people being put off by the additional restrictions.”

The return of new measures is an unwelcome pre-Christmas development for venues hoping the festive period will make up for lockdown losses. 

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Other entertainment venues facing additional measures include bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, bowling alleys and indoor play areas including soft-play areas.

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Strikes bowling alley in Dereham. - Credit: Archant

Strikes Bowls in King’s Lynn and Dereham said it had updated rules on face coverings with public, and staff in public facing areas, required to wear masks from Friday.

“Police have enforcement powers, including issuing fixed penalties of £200 for the first offence, reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days,” it added in a message to customers. 

However, Palace Bingo in Great Yarmouth said it was unlikely to see a drop in players having kept the requirement to wear a face mask. 

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Customer temperature checks at Palace Bingo. - Credit: Archant

“We didn’t lift any restrictions on July 19. We never stopped asking people to wear a mask and doing temperature checks at the door so we will continue as we have been,” said a spokesman. 

“You have to put customer health as a top priority above everything else. 

“The vaccine passports are a different cup of tea and we will have to see what the final announcement on those is going to be.”

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