UK nightclubs may not reopen until the entire adult population is vaccinated, new reports suggest.
Almost 12 months ago, nightclubs and music venues in the UK were ordered to close with immediate effect due to the spread of COVID-19, and last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered hopeful news to the sector after stating that testing “in combination with vaccination, will probably be the route forward” to reopening safely.
Now, following more advice and upated information from the UK government, which includes the aim to offer the coronavirus vaccination to all adults by the end of July this year, a “road map” is set to be announced by Johnson later today (22nd).
Ahead of the announcement, Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy advisor, Sacha Lord, tweeted that in a “leak” about the road map from The Times — which he “believed to be true” — nightclubs would reopen in August. However, an article published by The Times today suggests that, although mass testing may help, it is possible that we may not see clubs open until the entire adult population has been vaccinated.
In a series of follow up tweets, Lord said, “If the return of restaurants/pubs isn’t until May, the Chancellor needs to urgently respond with a clear support package. A ten day wait until 3rd March is too long for peoples mental health and anxiety over their jobs/businesses.”
A previous tweet from last night (21st February) addressing the Chancellor said, “You must save the UK’s fifth biggest sector.”
Elsewhere in the world, clubs and venues are beginning to reopen cautiously. Earlier this month, New York City governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the city, which was one of the worst impacted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, would begin to reopen venues later this month with 10% capacity restrictions and mandatory masks, as well as testing prior to entry.
Last week in France, the French government spoke about the return of live events in the summer, and announced that summer festivals could take place with social distancing in place, and a 5,000 attendee limit. This was met with criticism by festival organisers in the country, with AEG France highlighting in an interview with IQ that the “summer period” had been deliberately undefined, and that no outdoor food or drink trading will be allowed at the festivals.
Boris Johnson is expected to make the UK’s road map announcement at 3:30PM today, 22nd February.
MORE BREAKING from @thetimes on the likely roadmap:
March 8th: Golf/Tennis
Mid April: Gyms
May: Cinemas/Theatre/Indoor Pubs/Restaurants.
August: Foreign holidays/Nightclubs…
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) February 21, 2021