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01st Oct 2021

Antigen testing could be required for nightclub entry

Ellen Fitzpatrick

There’s one condition.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Catherine Martin is “hopeful” to see the return of nightclubs in Ireland on October 22nd as the country reopens, but says antigen testing might be needed.

After a pilot nightclub took place at the Button Factory in Dublin on Thursday night, antigen testing was carried out as well as proof of vaccination needed.

Social distancing and mask wearing was out the window at this event, other than being required in queues and those coming in and out of the building were monitored by organisers.

Speaking about the industry reopening, Martin hopes that the pilot event created a “realistic” experience and will replicate how October 22nd will look.

She said: “Tonight’s will be the first event of all the pilot events, perhaps the most important because we are collapsing social distancing, we’re making the experience as realistic as possible.

“Introducing the antigen testing as well, as the industry themselves said was important.

“There will be feedback from those who attend.

“We’ve had engineers in to test the ventilation, to make sure it’s at its optimum levels and CO2 levels will be tested as well.

“These are all key issues that the industry said needed to be tested.

“Unlike other events, this is the most complex of the indoor pilots.”

While she did note that no “clear decision has been made” on antigen testing being needed in October, there is the “expert advisory group on antigen testing is due to report in the coming days.”