Nightclubs across England reopened last night (19th July) as all legal COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Last week, it was announced that England would proceed with “unlocking” the country, removing all legal coronavirus restrictions, including social distancing, mask requirements and capacity restrictions in clubs and music venues.
As the clock struck midnight, thousands entered nightclubs across the country to dance for the first time since March 2020. Clubs including London’s fabric, The Cause, Heaven, EGG and Orange Yard, Liverpool’s 24 Street Kitchen, Manchester’s Hidden, Leeds’ Wire, Newcastle’s Digital, Bristol’s Lakota and more welcomed eager visitors. Videos from outside clubs show bustling queues waiting for doors to open. Many other clubs across the country will be opening this weekend.
While there is no legal obligation for venues to ask visitors to present a negative test, the government has suggested that clubs ask people to present their NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination on arrival. However, many clubs are implementing their own policies for entry to ensure events are safe, particularly in light of coronavirus cases rising at an alarming rate across the country. The UK is now recording almost 50,000 new cases a day, with a further 25 deaths being reported yesterday (18th July). Cases are expected to continue rising in England in the coming weeks, sparking concern among world scientists who believe that England’s Covid unlocking is a threat to global efforts to end the pandemic.
London clubs including The Cause and Corsica Studios will require that visitors present proof of a negative test from within 48 hours of entry. Pickle Factory and Oval Space will be checking guests’ temperatures on the door, and are encouraging people to take a test prior to events.
Manchester’s White Hotel is asking that visitors provide either an NHS Covid Pass, certificate of double vaccination or negative test. Brighton’s Patterns will not require proof of negative test or proof of vaccination, visitors are being encouraged to take a test before attending.
Last week, Peter Marks, the chief executive of nightclub umbrella company REKOM, which owns 42 clubs across the UK, announced that they would not be following the government’s advice in requiring visitors to present an NHS COVID Pass. A survey conducted by the NTIA of 250 venues found that 82% would not be asking attendees to provide their COVID status in order to gain entry.
In a statement shared today, NTIA CEO Michael Kill described seeing the reopening of nightclubs as “extremely emotional” and said it was “great to also hear from customers on how safe they feel in these spaces and understand how much the sector has worked hard to get to this point.”
He continued: “The last 17 months have been very tough, many businesses have been lost, and the ones who have survived are now overburdened with debt and desperate to be able to remain open, but have many years of building back financial stability ahead.
“In many respects relief has come from the end to uncertainty, but it’s hard to shake the nagging concern over a winter surge resulting in further restrictions being brought in from October, and nightclubs being the scapegoat.”
Check out some videos and photos from last night’s reopening parties below.
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— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) July 18, 2021
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Clubbing is back in England. pic.twitter.com/JcLviWagN0
— Camus (@camus37) July 19, 2021
For the first time in 16 months, nightclubs can reopen in England.
This was @LakotaBristol – which opened at 00:01 this morning.
— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) July 19, 2021
(Photo: Jody Hartley)