When are clubs reopening in London
Wednesday, 05 of May of 2021
Recently Mr Johnson made surprising announcements about London’s nightlife industry. Mr Johnson gave a nod to the industry saying that there will be measures designed to gradually lift the stay at home order without threatening the downturn in coronavirus cases. Clubs will be able to reopen testing those in the queue for Covid-19 with rapid turnaround lateral flow tests. Even though this could be a logistical nightmare to most of the club owners, that, combined with vaccination, will probably be the way to go. Mr Johnson also ruled out the possibility of vaccine passports as a way of managing big crowds at entertainment venues.
What are the rules on London’s nightlife?
Unlike pubs and restaurants that have reopened, London nightclubs have been closed since the first Covid lockdown in March 2020. But luckily for the scene, Mr Johnson announced that on 21st June the government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on certain events. It is great news for the industry - if clubs in England can survive until then. Nightclubs are one of the few businesses that have been forced to close for the entirety of the Covid crisis after restrictions were first introduced last March. By the time June comes around, they will have been closed for 15 months. The entire night time industry - which contributes £66bn to the UK economy - has been hit hard by the country's many lockdowns.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night-Time Industries Association, says that by the time clubs can reopen, there will be between 40% and 50% fewer operating in the UK compared to a pre-Covid total of 1,446 venues.
Will this absolutely happen?
Mr Johnson has said more than once that the decision of easing measures are based on the data showing the decrease in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. He assured that the UK government is led by data and not dates. In order to roll out the lockdown easing, Mr Johnson has included 4 different tests:
• The success of the vaccine programme
• Evidence showing that vaccines are effective in decreasing the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in those vaccinated
• Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations
• The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus
It is not guaranteed that clubs will reopen since removing restrictions depends on many other factors, such as the continuing success of the Covid vaccine programme and avoiding a surge in hospitalisations.
Will it be possible to dance in the nightclubs?
Some club owners have expressed their concerns about dancing in London clubs. When clubs were open you could have 1,000 people dancing together but right now this is everyone’s nightmare. Club owners are worried they will not be able to control social distancing on the dance floor and to control the number of guests in order to have fewer people on the dance floor will have some cost implications. If you limit the number of people you can't put as much money into the production, into the artists and talent.
Industry fears for its post-Covid future
Before Coronavirus nightclub owners in London were already experiencing challenges as their main guests began to focus more on health and IG. Daytime parties were gaining popularity and the number of clubs had already shrunk by 21%. On top of this, the world was shocked by the Covid pandemic and the entertainment industry was one of the first sectors to be shut by the government and is one of few to have barely reopened since. For the clubs themselves and those who work in them, the effects of the pandemic have been devastating. Each week around 40 night-time businesses have shut for good. Even though June 21 is the potential reopening date, no one knows yet what restrictions will be imposed on clubs when they finally open.
Despite the many concerns, those nightclubs which have survived are confident that when they reopen, customers will come flooding back.