The UK Government has confirmed that nightclubs in England can reopen on 19th July, with most remaining COVID-19 restrictions to be removed as previously outlined.
Limits on the number of people who can meet inside will end, and face masks will no longer be required — although people are urged to continue wearing coverings on public transport and in other crowded settings. Businesses, including events, are also being advised to use vaccine passports.
The news comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country, but crucially experts now say the successful vaccine rollout has severed the link between infection rates, hospitalisations, and deaths.
“If not now, then when,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid in a Westminster address on Monday (12th July), warning infections could reach 100,000 per day after reopening, but that health services should not be overwhelmed by this because severe illness will be reduced as a result of inoculations.
“As a matter of social responsibility, we are 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,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the latest Coronavirus Update, broadcast by the BBC earlier today (12th July).
“It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution, and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough — this pandemic is not over. This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family. We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday 19th of July to life as it was before COVID,” he said.
Across Europe and the US, societies are slowly attempting to reopen. In Spain, clubs are operating again, with rules set on a regional basis — last week Catalonia announced it was closing indoor venues again after a brief spell during which parties were possible. Meanwhile, in Berlin, restrictions recently began easing, with Berghain using its outdoor dancefloor for the first time in months last weekend. Find out how nightlife workers feel about the return of events in our long read on the complex situation facing staff in the industry.