City bar owner tells clubbers: 'Turn off Covid app'

The poster on Norwich's Cans 'N' Cocktails bar and club encouraging people to turn off the NHS Covid-19 app off.

The poster on Norwich's Cans 'N' Cocktails bar and club encouraging people to turn the NHS Covid app off - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

A nightclub and bar owner is encouraging clubbers to ditch the Covid app to prevent the pingdemic spread.

Andre Smith opened Cans 'N' Cocktails, in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, on July 2.

And now he has taken the controversial step of putting up posters in the window of his bar asking punters to switch off the test and trace app before they enter to avoid people getting pinged on the dancefloor. 

Cans 'N' Cocktails opens on Prince of Wales Road when Andre Smith will be mixing the cocktails
Byli

Andre Smith, owner and manager of Cans 'N' Cocktails - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"The pingdemic is causing a bigger issue than Covid itself," he fumed. "We are being encouraged to get back to normal and to learn to live with Covid, yet the minute we do we're all being pinged to go home for 10 days.

"The isolating staff after a ping are impacting all walks of life from transport workers to NHS staff to food production.

"We won't be forcing people to turn the app off but we want people to enjoy being out without worrying about being locked up at home."

The posters outside Cans 'N' Cocktails on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.

The posters outside Cans 'N' Cocktails on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich encouraging people to turn off the NHS Covid-19 app. - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Mr Smith, 32, claimed the poster was "tongue in cheek" and said he has received messages of support on social media.

Most Read

The club owner has also reassured people the bar - with a capacity of 500 across a whole night - was kept clean and all staff, including himself, had received one or two vaccines and took weekly lateral flow tests.

He added: "I support the vaccine but I support freedom of choice. We are a nightclub not an authoritarian body. There will be outbreaks and individuals will have to take necessary precautions.

"We have to live with Covid. We don't have to put caveats on who can enjoy themselves."

The business owner said Boris Johnson's plans to introduce vaccination passports for nightclubs in September would force many nightclubs to close because many 18-24 year olds would not yet be double jabbed and the industry was already "on its knees".

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis said: "I understand why organisations are being forced into these situations. The government's recklessness has brought about a moral quagmire.

"The government has kicked the can down the road to individuals struggling to make decisions for themselves and the community."

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, has urged people to follow government advice.

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said they could not comment and the government has been approached.


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus