SAGE doctor calls U.K’s choice to reopen nightclubs amidst rising Covid-19 cases ‘immoral’

Image by Anthony Devlin

Dr. Gabriel Scally, a doctor who sits on the independent Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) panel, has shared his opinion on the U.K’s reopening of the nightlife industry. 

The U.K officially reopened its nightclubs and live music venues on July 19th, a day that had come to be known as ‘freedom day.’ However, just hours after clubs reopen their doors after over a year of staying shut, the government took another U-turn by announcing that vaccine passports would be mandatory to enter clubs from September. 

“I think it’s justifiable to open nightclubs but only if you believe this government policy that it’s good to have infection, and it’s good to have illness, and it’s good to have death during the summer rather than trying to prevent or postpone those into later in the year,” said Dr. Scully in a panel discussion shared by SAGE on July 24th. The doctor also believes that the move to reopen clubs is an attempt by the government to achieve herd immunity. Dr. Scully thinks this is an “immoral and unethical” case. 
The U.K’s nightlife workers and venue owners have been battling the government’s perceived mishandling of their sector’s wellbeing amidst the coronavirus lockdown.

Efforts such as Save Our Scene have organised mass protests to raise awareness and appeal to investors. Commenting on the latest U-turn from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet, CEO of the Night Time Industries AssociationMichael Kill called the move “chaotic” and one that “will leave nightclubs who have been planning for reopening for months [now having] to make more changes to the way they operate.” Kill went on to say, “80 percent of nightclubs have said they do not want to implement covid passports, worrying about difficulties with enforcing the system.”