When will nightclubs reopen in the UK and what safety measures will be in place?

6 July 2021, 11:55

Crowd at Fabric nightclub, Farringdon, London
Crowd at Fabric nightclub, Farringdon, London. Picture: Getty

By Emma Clarke

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced stage four of the UK's lockdown roadmap, with almost all restrictions being eased on July 19.

Unlike restaurants, pubs and gyms, nightclubs and music venues have been closed since Lockdown 1.0 in March 2020.

Consequently, a large number of venues have suffered the financial implications of closure, with many buckling under the pressure to stay afloat and keep their staff on board.

According to a new report by UKHospitality, 36% of hospitality owners anticipate permanent closure, while 67% are reopening venues on reduced hours. Just 16% are optimistic about the next 12 months after reopening.

Back in November last year, The Music Venue Trust launched a new campaign called #SaveThe30, which sought to raise money for popular music venues across the country, to prevent them from permanent closure.

Iconic London club Fabric also received a £1.5million grant from the Culture Recovery Fund. As part of the same initiative, venues such as BH Live in Bournemouth, Performances Birmingham Ltd and the ACC Liverpool Group also received funding.

It has come as welcome news, then, that the Prime Minister has now confirmed clubs and gig venues will be allowed to reopen very soon.

Here's everything you need to know...

When are nightclubs and music venues reopening?

If you've missed sticky dance floors, getting ignored at the bar and lengthy admission queues; fret not. Clubs are set to reopen on July 19, aka, 'Freedom Day'.

That said, the rules currently apply to England only, with guidelines for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland yet to be announced.

Clubs were set to open their doors to partygoers on June 21, however, the date was pushed back due to the Delta variant.

During a press conference in May, Boris Johnson said: "I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June.

"And I must stress that we will do whatever it takes to keep the public safe."

What safety measures will be in place?

As of July 19, the public will no longer be required to wear face coverings and social distance by law. That said, venues may enforce such restrictions to ensure safety.

It has been suggested that many venues will do temperature tests and lateral flow Covid-19 tests before admitting guests.

According to the Evening Standard, Cabinet minister Michael Gove believes on-site testing would be "too much hassle".

There has also been discussion around Covid passports, with more than 45.3million people in the UK now having received at least one does of the vaccine, and jabs being offered to those aged 18 and over.

While nothing has been confirmed, the Government has been running pilot events to test safety, with festivals such as Download taking part in the scheme.

Revellers were allowed to go mask-free and did not have to adhere to social distancing measures, but had to provide proof of a negative test before they entered, and book another test five days after the event.

Latitude is also scheduled to take place as part of the test between July 22-25.