When can nightclubs and music venues open in UK and how will distancing work?

NIGHTCLUBS have been shut for over a year now under restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

They'll remain shut for another month after Boris Johnson revealed this evening that the last stage of his roadmap for unlocking England will be pushed back.

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Nightclubs were gearing up to welcome Brits back next Monday and bounce back after 15 months of Covid closures.

But the PM announced that Covid restrictions won't fully lift until July 19.

He said tonight in a gloomy press conference: "I think it’s sensible to wait just a little longer."

It comes days after nightclub owners last week vowed to welcome back party-goers regardless of government rules.

Meanwhile, others have said they are prepared to take legal action.

Here, we take you through everything we know so far about when clubs can open, and what they'll look like when they do.

When will nightclubs open in the UK?

When announcing the roadmap out of lockdown, the PM said that all restrictions will be lifted on June 21 – including for nightclubs.

But this has been pushed back to July 19 in order for more people to get their first Covid-19 vaccination.

Mr Johnson announced the bad news for club goers this evening, addressing the nation about the delay to 'Freedom Day'.

For now, nightclubs, along with dance halls and discotheques, will stay shut.

This is due to the difficulty of making them Covid-secure due to limited social distancing and lower ability to keep areas clean constantly.

It comes as a 40% surge in the Indian strain, known as the Delta variant, has seen cases snowball across pockets of England.

The PM warned that the roadmap out of lockdown will be delayed should the nation fail to meet the the four tests the government says need to be passed before any restrictions are eased.

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

How will social distancing in nightclubs work?

The full list of rules in place for when nightclubs are finally allowed to reopen next month hasn't been confirmed.

But most businesses have been thinking ahead, putting in place a plan of action when restrictions lift.

Reduced capacity has also been floated as an idea to make clubs Covid safe but many owners say they simply cannot survive with fewer customers.

This is one of the reasons that most clubs have been unable to reopen so far – less than 5% reinvented themselves as a pub during lockdown as many would not have been able to break even. 

Damien Fell, director and programmer at Brighton’s The Arch music venue, previously told The Sun: "To be frank though, any social distancing or reduction of capacity is going to hinder our ability to operate substantially, and make opening undoable."

Nightclubs pose a major challenge and have not reopened at all since the coronavirus crisis first hit in March 2020.

It's been said that dance floors are “a challenging area to operate" with social distancing remaining intact.

This could mean that clubbers wash their hands with sanitiser before going in.

Dance floor fans may be subject to temperature checks before entry, and queuing outside venues would be spaced out with markings to maintain distancing.

Rapid testing, such as lateral flow tests or temperature checks, and vaccinations could also be part of the club experience when they reopen in a bid to prevent any outbreaks.

What other public spaces remain closed?

Strip clubs will not reopen on June 21, as well as larger events.

Customers planning on taking a trip to a strip club are set to be required to show Covid vaccine passports when they do reopen.

Gigs have taken a hit, as the current rules allow for capacity limits of 50 per cent – or a maximum of 1,000 people – indoors.

Meanwhile, workers have been told to stay away from the office for another month.

The Prime Minister also announced that Hairdressers will open from April 12 along with gyms.

Working from home measures will remain in place until at least June

A full list of businesses that must stay closed until April 12 was revealed today – with cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17

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