RAPID testing outside venues is not the answer to reviving the events industry, business insiders have said.

Boris Johnson has claimed that rapid Covid-19 testing could help entertainment venues, such as theatres and nightclubs, start to welcome back customers once lockdown restrictions are eased.

But Brighton Event Professions Independent Committee (EPIC), set up during the first coronavirus lockdown to help the struggling industry, said the Prime Minister had “failed” to set out the details of the scheme.

The Argus: Bombay Bicycle Club at the Brighton CentreBombay Bicycle Club at the Brighton Centre

Chairman Ian Baird said it is unlikely venues will find “much comfort” in the announcement.

He said: "While we at EPIC greatly appreciate hearing the Prime Minister finally talk about the hugely damaged entertainment industries we are concerned at the lack of detail in suggestions for using rapid flow testing.

“We are aware that the efficacy of these tests is not high enough to give sufficient confidence on a test on the door basis. There is also some highly complicated logistics needed in order for nightclubs to manage groups for the 15 minute testing period.

"In addition to the above, the Prime Minister has failed to give any indication on how the additional costs for such a scheme could be met which would be prohibitive.

We await the government's roadmap announcement on Monday, but if the level of detail is anything like the suggestions raised today I doubt this will give much comfort to the entertainment and events industries."

Mark Davyd, founder of the Music Venue Trust, which works to protect, secure and improve music venues, said it is unlikely venues themselves would be able to test customers in a safe and efficient manner.

He said: “If we could use those to get people rapid tested, to get acknowledgement of a negative test onto their phones or a digital device, which they could show at the door, then it’s very practical to imagine that that could be a very significant contributor towards risk management.

“If we are imagining that every venue would carry out its own rapid test, that quickly moves into the realms of not making a lot of financial sense and also being a nightmare to administer and frankly being quite risky in terms of how efficient the testing would be.

“If we can rely on the rapid testing centres, then I think it’s definitely a contributor towards getting events back.”