Paisley nightclub says job cuts unavoidable if “disaster” vaccine passport scheme continues

A Paisley nightclub boss fears he will be forced to cut jobs as the “disaster” vaccine passport scheme sees customers numbers plummet – losing the venue almost £5,000 in just one weekend.

Vienna’s, in Paisley’s New Street, usually welcomes roughly 800 people every Friday and Saturday night.

However, since the vaccine passport scheme came into force on October 18, shocked club bosses say they are “haemorrhaging money” and have suffered a staggering 60 per cent drop in footfall.

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Last weekend, the number of people through the door dropped drastically to less than 300 people and the takings for the evening were down £4,500.

Now, as Halloween weekend approaches – marked in the calendar as one of the busiest club nights of the year – Vienna’s bosses fear they may have to make tough jobs cuts if the losses continue.

Manager Stephen Adams said: “It was an absolute disaster. We did not expect it to be as bad as it was.

“The staff were really shocked and they all took a hit financially as lots of them were sent home early.

“In total we lost about £4,500 over the weekend and if we continue to haemorrhage money like that you are looking at £20,000 a month.

Vienna’s manager Stephen Adams
(Image: Paisley Daily Express, UGC MSR)

“How are we supposed to stay open and pay our staff while losing that much money?

“The vaccine passport has caused confusion and in turn a loss to businesses.

“All we had all week was people saying they couldn’t get the app to work and we had to tell them we couldn’t grant entry.

“This approaching weekend is one of the busiest of the year and could be destroyed by these passports.”

The usually popular venue is already facing cutting staff hours, and Stephen fears redundancies will be on the cards if the Scottish Government don’t rethink the scheme.

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They are also calling on the Scottish Government to scrap the controversial scheme which they have branded as a “farce”.

Stephen and his team have also written to MSPs in the area in a bid to get support.

He added: “I have just over 30 people who rely on work from Vienna’s plus local contractors we use for supplies and cleaning and if this continues we will have to make drastic cost cutting exercises which will include redundancy.

“There is no support there for us at all anymore.

“The grants are gone and the furlough is gone and we have these vaccine passports in place which are having a real dire impact on out business.

“Vienna’s will not stay open if this continues as we just cannot absorb these massive losses week after week.

“We are reaching out to try and get some support as it is local jobs which will be impacted if something isn’t done.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Covid-19 certification is a proportionate way of encouraging people to get vaccinated, and also of helping large events and nighttime hospitality to keep operating during what will potentially be a very difficult winter.

“This means many businesses will not have to close and can continue to trade whilst making necessary adjustments to ensure their premises are as safe as possible for staff and customers.

“Officials continue to engage regularly with the sector to discuss implementation of the scheme.”

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Daily Record – Paisley