Midnight curfew for Ireland’s nightclubs, and vaccine passports popping up all over the place – does anyone else fancy an extra strong coffee this morning?

Nightclubs, by their very definition, are supposed to be open at night. Which is why eyebrows were raised when the Netherlands announced last week that nightclubs would have to close at the notably early hour of 8pm. When you go for a night out clubbing, I get the feeling being at home in time to watch the News At Ten isn’t what you have in mind.

And not surprisingly, it looks like other countries are carefully watching the Dutch do their homework and taking notes. Ireland is the first to do so, with their Taoiseach (that means Prime Minister, if you’re wondering) Micheàl Martin confirming that nightclubs in the Republic of Ireland will have to obey a midnight curfew as of this weekend.

Quite why countries keep failing to learn from each other’s mistakes during this pandemic remains a mystery to me. When England had a 10pm closing time in place for pubs and restaurants last year, it led to everyone being thrown out on the streets at the time. In cities like London, it inevitably meant the Tube being hammered with loads of passengers at the same time – which hardly seems a sensible way to prevent a virus spreading.

Elsewhere, mandatory vaccine passports are due to be discussed by the Northern Ireland Executive today – as I covered yesterday. And Scotland are proposing to extend where you’ll need to show proof of being double vaccinated in order to get in.

This week’s getting very complicated already – and it’s only Wednesday. Might be a morning for having an extra strong coffee, this one…

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