FAQs - COVID-19 Reopening Update

We can’t tell you how good it is to be back. But we do have to tell you that ‘back’ is going to be a bit different.

1. Is it safe to visit?

On Monday 12 July 2021, the Prime Minister confirmed England’s move to Step 4 of the Government roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions from Monday 19 July 2021. As a responsible venue operator and employer, we will be following Government guidance and recommendations.

We’ve put these recommended changes in place to prioritise your safety for when you visit. Some you’ll see, such as updates to your ticket booking, entry requirements, COVID-status, information on face coverings, refreshment ordering and sanitiser stations, as well as processes behind the scenes to adhere to COVID-19 standards in line with government and public health guidance.

2. Do I need to be either vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 result or natural immunity to get in?

Right now, yes you will, and here’s why.

On 12 July 2021, the Prime Minster held a press conference and stated that “as a matter of social responsibility, the Government is urging nightclubs and other venues with large crowds to make use of the NHS COVID Pass, which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity as a means of entry.”

As a responsible venue operator and employer, we will be following Government guidance and recommendations. 

As part of the official Roadmap, the Government’s latest guidance has been informed by its reviews into certification in England as part of the Events Research Programme.

Please refer to 'Question 4'  to tell you how. 

3. Do I have to show COVID status on entry?

In short, yes, and here’s the reason why.

On 12 July 2021, the Prime Minster held a press conference and stated that “as a matter of social responsibility, the Government is urging nightclubs and other venues with large crowds to make use of the NHS COVID Pass, which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity as a means of entry.”

Whilst COVID-status certification might not be mandated by law right now, the latest government guidance states that venues such as ours - where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household - are encouraged to use the NHS COVID Pass to certify COVID status for all visitors.

Please refer to 'Question 4'  to tell you how. 

4. How do I show proof of my COVID status?

For entry, you will need to demonstrate your COVID-19 status by providing either:

  • ​Proof of a negative NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test (such test to be taken within 24 hours prior to attending the event at the venue); or
  • Proof of full vaccination - both doses received (with the second at least 14 days prior to the arrival at the venue); or
  • Proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of arrival at the venue (and after the 10-day self-isolation period following the result).
     
  • PROOF OF A NEGATIVE NHS RAPID LATERAL FLOW TEST

NHS Rapid Lateral Flow tests are free. You can order NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Tests here or pick them up from any pharmacy or test site.

Please do not bring the home test strip with you.

Follow these instructions for what you need to do: 

You must report your COVID-19 NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test result online, by visiting COVID-19 NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test result.

OR use this link in your browser - https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can also report your test result by calling the phone number in your test kit’s instructions, NHS 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Scotland 0300 303 2713.

You will need to demonstrate your negative NHS Lateral Flow Test result by showing us one of the following: 

  • Text OR email confirmation of your result
  • OR by using the NHS COVID Pass, available through the NHS App
  • OR as a letter that can be requested by ringing NHS 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Scotland 0300 303 2713
  • PROOF OF FULL VACCINATION – BOTH DOSES RECEIVED

We cannot accept vaccine cards issued at vaccination centres as proof of vaccination.

Please use the NHS COVID Pass to show your vaccination status using the NHS App or the NHS website to download it as a PDF or get it sent to you in an email.   

You can also get a paper version (vaccination status only - not test results - 2 weeks after having a full course of the vaccine) sent to you in the post. You do not need to be registered with a GP surgery or have an NHS login for this. You can get a letter (within 5 working days) by requesting a COVID Pass letter online or calling NHS 119. 

Here’s how to get a record of your vaccination status in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

  • PROOF OF NATURAL IMMUNITY

Please use the NHS COVID Pass to show your positive PCR test within the past 6 months using the NHS App or the NHS website, after you’ve finished self-isolating and up to 180 days after taking the test.

5. Any COVID-19 reason I wouldn’t get in on the day?

If you get a positive NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, you will not be admitted and you’ll need to follow the advice on the NHS website. Make sure you do your test at home, in advance and leave enough time before the start of the event to obtain the result.

For entry, you will need to demonstrate your COVID-19 status by providing either:

  • Proof of a negative NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test (such test to be taken within 24 hours prior to attending the event at the venue); or
  • Proof of full vaccination - both doses received (with the second at least 14 days prior to the arrival at the venue); or
  • Proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of arrival at the venue (and after the 10-day self-isolation period following the result).

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

6. Where do I get an NHS Lateral Flow Test?

If you are demonstrating your COVID-19 status using an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, this should be taken within 24 hours prior to arriving at the venue. You can order free NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Tests here or pick them up from any pharmacy or test site.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

7. How do I upload an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test result?

If you are demonstrating your COVID-19 status using an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, this should be taken within 24 hours prior to arriving at the venue. You can order free NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Tests here or pick them up from any pharmacy or test site. Once you have taken your test, you will need to report your result. 

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

A positive result from an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test means it’s likely you had coronavirus when the test was done. You and anyone you live with must not attend and self-isolate immediately. You are then advised to get a PCR test to confirm your result as soon as possible. If you have symptoms of the coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, follow the advice on the NHS website.

8. If I’m coming to an event, when should I do a NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test?

If you are using an NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test to demonstrate your COVID status, you should do a rapid test at home within 24 hours prior to arriving at the venue.  

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

9. How do I prove I’ve had 2 doses of the vaccine?

We cannot accept vaccine cards issued at vaccination centres as proof of vaccination.

Please use the NHS COVID Pass to show your vaccination status using the NHS App or the NHS website. You can also download it as a PDF or get it sent to you in an email.   

You can also get a paper version (vaccination status only - not test results - 2 weeks after having a full course of the vaccine) sent to you in the post. You do not need to be registered with a GP surgery or have an NHS login for this.

You can get a letter (within 5 working days) by requesting a COVID Pass letter online or calling NHS 119.

Here’s how to get a record of your vaccination status in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Find out more here.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

10. How do I get an NHS COVID Pass?

In England, you can do this by requesting the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website or the NHS App.

The NHS COVID Pass is available if you:

  • have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine (a full course is 2 doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine, or 1 dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine)
  • were vaccinated in England
  • are aged 16 or over

The NHS COVID Pass is available in digital or paper format.

If you do not have the App or a log in via the NHS website, a paper version (vaccination status only) can be sent to you in the post. This shows you have been vaccinated against COVID-19. It does not show COVID-19 test results.

You can request a COVID Pass letter online here or by calling NHS 119.

Find out more here.

COVID Passes and vaccination status for other parts of the UK can be found here for ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland

We cannot accept vaccine cards issued at vaccination centres as proof of vaccination.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

11. What’s natural immunity?

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test within 180 days – and that includes 10 days of isolation – you are eligible for an NHS COVID Pass, as you will have ‘natural immunity’, but please use the app and follow the guidance.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

12. I’m fully vaccinated, do I still need to take a Rapid Lateral Flow Test?

No. If you can provide proof that you have received both doses of your vaccine 14 days ahead of coming to an event, you do not need to provide an additional NHS Lateral Flow Test result. If you’re a ticket holder and registered with a GP in England, you can do this via the NHS COVID Pass, available in digital or paper format. 

We cannot accept vaccine cards issued at vaccination centres as proof of vaccination.

You can access your NHS COVID Pass 2 weeks after having a full course of the vaccine.

Find out more here.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’, 'Question 9' and 'Question 13' to tell you more.

13. Do you accept vaccine cards as proof?

Afraid not, sorry, we cannot accept vaccine cards issued at vaccination centres as proof of vaccination. Please follow our guidance to avoid disappointment.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ and 'Question 9' to tell you more.

14. I don’t have a smartphone, cannot use the NHS app or NHS website?

If you don’t own a smartphone or a computer, there’s still a way to report and get proof of a negative NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test by telephoning 119 - this phone number is in your test kit’s instructions as well – and they’ll tell you your options. Please check with them before you visit and leave enough time before the start of the event to obtain the result.

Please also refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

15. I’m travelling from Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland/International?

If you live in Scotland, and choose to show proof of vaccination, you can obtain your full vaccination status here.

If you do not receive digital notification or letter in time, you will need to provide evidence of a negative NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, by reporting the result here and presenting your NHS email or text notification on arrival. 

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

If you live in Wales, and choose to show proof of vaccination, you can obtain your full vaccination status by following the instructions here.

If you cannot access your NHS COVID Pass you will need to provide evidence of a negative NHS Rapid Lateral Flow Test, by reporting the result here and presenting your NHS email or text notification at entry.

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

 

If you live in Northern Ireland, and choose to show proof of vaccination, you can apply for a COVID certificate by following the instructions here.

 

EU ticket holders and international visitors, please see Question 16 to tell you more. 

 

16. Will you accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate? What about other international locations?

Yes, we will accept an EU Digital COVID certificate as approved double vaccination status. Please also be sure to check any necessary testing and quarantine requirements as well before you travel. 

For any other international destinations, we’re here to help with your questions, just get in touch by email right here.

17. I’m under 18, what do I need to do?

For children and young people between the age of 11 and up to and including 18, proof of a negative NHS Lateral Flow Test is your option to demonstrate COVID-status.

Under 11s do not need a test or a vaccine.

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you how.

18. Do I have to wear a mask or face covering?

We'd like it if you did please. Official guidance outlined by the Prime Minister on 12 July 2021, in Step 4 of the Roadmap, states that Government “expects and recommends that face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces and when mixing with people you don’t normally meet.”

We’ll translate.

What that means is, right now, whilst it's no longer a mandatory requirement, we'd encourage you to be mindful of others and follow this recommendation and advice and personal responsibility to cover your face (aside from when you are eating or drinking). Our staff will be wearing face coverings as well.

 

19. Are social distancing requirements still in place?

No. All events can resume without any limit on attendance, and remaining limits on social distancing have been removed as of Monday 19 July 2021. It goes without saying that everyone should act responsibly towards others.

20. I have a question about my Accessibility booking, how do I get in touch?

No problem, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in our FAQs, please contact us by email and we’ll do our best to help. Just tell us, which show or event you have tickets for, where and how you booked, which venue and we’ll get right back to you.

Just a note on face coverings, we know that not all exemptions are visible, so if you need to, please download and print an exemption card (there’s one for your phone too). It will help our team identify you as exempt.

21. What are your opening times?

We’ll let all ticket holders know what time to arrive when ordering tickets, and if you’ve booked with Ticketmaster, they will send you a reminder too. The door time will also be detalied on your ticket. 

22. How do I get there?

Always check travel before you head out, you can find out everything you need to know about local transport links and the easiest way to get to us on our ‘Venue Info’ page. Please check all services on the day too and know how you're going to get home. 

23. What happens when I arrive?

Our team has been hard at work to be able to provide the best possible audience experience. It’s important you help us to help you by planning ahead and arriving on time so we can ensure the smoothest possible entry. Our staff will be on hand to navigate the way through our entry procedures. It might be a little different to what you’re used to, so follow all signs, check any advance communications your ticket agent sends you and our staff will be there to help.

Please refer to ‘Question 4’ to tell you more.

24. What’s the difference between the NHS App and the NHS Covid-19 App?

The NHS app provides a simple and secure way for people to share their COVID-19 status and access other NHS services.

The NHS COVID-19 app is a contact tracing app, which lets you use the app’s QR scanner to check in to places like venues, bars and restaurants and get alerts if you’ve been near other users with the app who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Check out this NHS Digital app explainer right here to find out more.

25. Do I need to have the COVID-19 Test and Trace app as well as the NHS App?

If you can, sure! The NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace app is available to download for free (in England and Wales) right here and we’ll have QR codes on display for you to scan.

Although it is no longer a legal requirement to check in, the Government will continue to encourage the public to use the latest version of the NHS COVID-19 app. It will remain a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

26. What happens if I have COVID-19 symptoms before visiting?

If you, or someone you live with display symptoms associated with COVID-19, then you shouldn’t attend. Please stay home, follow the guidelines and self-isolate and get tested as quickly as possible.

Just let your ticket agent – that’s who you booked through - know as soon as you can - and before the day of the event, they’ll tell you your options.

If that was Ticketmaster, here's how to get in touch.

If you’ve booked with any other ticket agent, be sure to contact them directly and as quickly as you can ahead of the show, and they’ll tell you your options.

27. What happens if I feel ill and can’t use my ticket?

Health and safety is important, so if you, or someone in your party feels ill, just let your ticket agent – that’s who you booked through – know as soon as you can, and before the day of the event - they’ll tell you your options.

If that was Ticketmaster, here's how to get in touch.

If you’ve booked with any other ticket agent, be sure to contact them directly and as quickly as you can ahead of the show date, and they’ll tell you your options.

Please remember, it’s important you do not attend if:

  • You believe you may be infected with COVID-19
  • Have experienced symptoms in the last 10 days
  • Been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days
  • Have arrived in England in the last 10 days from a country where UK quarantine restrictions apply
  • Have been instructed to self-isolate
  • Do not have COVID-19 status certification for entry
28. Will I need to queue?

Probably! We’ll have made some changes to allow for safety and security checks, but our team will provide direction and support when you arrive and show you the way. There’ll be signs and markers too. Have your tickets and COVID-19 status certification ready before you get there.

Right now, your patience and understand goes a long way with our staff.

29. Can I bring a bag?

Right now, we’d prefer you didn’t. We can’t offer a cloakroom service at this time, so please travel light, we’ll only allow bags no bigger than 30cm x 21cm - that’s roughly the size of a piece of A4 paper - so only bring just what you really need. Large bags cannot be accommodated, so ticket holders will be refused entry, sorry.

Our usual security measures are still in place, so we may also ask to do a bag check on arrival.

30. Is there a cloakroom?

Not all of our venues are currently operating a cloakroom right now, so you’ll need to keep the things you really need on you, so please limit what you bring. 

At O2 Academy Brixton we have cloakrooms where we charge a small fee per item (although O2 customers can use it for free). Obviously, the earlier you get there, the less busy it will be, but as long as you hold on to your ticket, it’s easy to get your stuff back.

Please plan ahead and do your best to travel as lightly as possible, as we really don’t want to slow you down getting in. So if you really, really need to bring a bag, please make sure that it’s small (less than laptop size or a small handbag). For those who travel a very long way, you can find out about storage facilities at all major train stations.

31. Do I pay with cash or card?

We prefer contactless or card payment only right now, but we’ll keep some bars open for cash transactions.

32. What about using the toilets?

You’ll have access to toilets and if you’re visiting us for the first time, a member of our team will be on hand to show you the way. You may have to wait longer than usual to use the facilities as they’ll be cleaned throughout the show. Please wash your hands while you’re there too.

33. Will hand sanitiser be available?

Absolutely, you’ll find sanitiser stations throughout, so please help yourself.

34. What happens when the show finishes?

So that everyone can leave as safely as they arrived, we’ll ask that you and your guests pay attention to our team. Your patience and understanding is appreciated right now and will go a long way with our staff.

35. How is your venue cleaned?

We have enhanced procedures in place for cleaning all public areas, as well as backstage to front of house throughout the day and between every show, and our toilets are regularly cleaned and sanitised throughout performances and events.

36. Have you planned your journey?

Before you travel, please check all transport routes for the latest information, services and timetables. Plan ahead and know how you’re going to get home.  

37. I can’t find the answer to my question, how do I get in touch?

We’re here to help, just get in touch by email right here.