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Southampton club owner’s mum gives out free COVID tests to punters

Cafe Parfait Owner Rich Gilbert’s mum Karen spent all night showing clubbers how to administer lateral flow tests.

Southampton club owner's mum gives out free COVID tests to punters
Rich Gilbert

Clubbers at Southampton’s Cafe Parfait found themselves in surprisingly good luck recently when the club owner’s mum spent the evening teaching revellers how to do administer flow tests.

On discovering many people hadn’t brought a Covid passport with them, the club owner’s mum Karen helped test people at the door from 11pm until 4am.

Rules in England changed last week, which meant to get into nightclubs you must prove you’ve been double-jabbed or had a recent negative lateral flow test.

Cafe Parfait’s owner, Rich Gilbert, says about 30% of people who went to Cafe Parfait in Southampton on Saturday didn’t have a Covid pass.

Thinking on his feet, Rich managed to get hold of the rapid tests – that give a result within 15 to 30 minutes – from a friend who runs another business, who had spares.

“If we hadn’t have done the testing on the night, we probably would have lost half of our customers,” Rich told BBC’s Newsbeat.

Karen made sure the tests were done properly and correctly uploaded the results to the NHS app – so that partygoers could then get on with their nights out.

Rich, who also co-owns Southampton’sSwitch nightclub, says he understands that keeping people safe is important – but agrees the rules are frustrating.

He is now planning to have a dedicated staff member in charge of checking people’s lateral flow results – although he says doing this makes a tough job even harder.

“It’s taxing for my staff to have to deal with people who are slightly intoxicated – it’s hard enough dealing with them on a normal night,

“It’s a real machine to get people through the door to try to generate some revenue.”

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