Face masks, social distancing and bouncer patrols may be the new normal for clubbing in London
Thanks to Covid-19, it’s been a while since any of us have graced the floors of a nightclub. Pubs and bars have been able to open since July 4, but there has been little word on when London’s nightclubs will do the same. These venues have been closed since March and for those of us that love to dance until the early hours of the morning, it’s not been an easy ride.
In a recent letter sent to the government, nightclub owners have revealed that they are in a “critical position” with over 750,000 jobs at risk. The nightclub industry is one of the few that hasn’t been given the green light to reopen, nor have they received sufficient financial aid. Venue owners are now urging the government to give them the opportunity to resume business.
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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have produced a report warning that the sector is facing “financial armageddon”. It also highlighted how necessary it is for these venues to reopen in order to stay afloat. The report calls for a “science-based, risk assessed reopening” of nightclubs, listing a number of measures that would ensure they can run safely without putting punters or staff at risk.
Among these measures are face masks, temperature checks, ID scans upon entry, crowd control, contactless payment, ventilation systems, high intensity cleaning and bouncer patrols. While these may not be words traditionally associated with clubbing, this could be the future of London nightclubs, at least until coronavirus packs up and leaves town.
The chief executive of the association, Michael Kill, said “In the absence of a clear reopening strategy from the government, or the promise of financial support, huge numbers of businesses within our industry are facing financial collapse and thousands of job losses.”
“Bearing in mind the behaviour we are witnessing in unregulated environments such as beaches, parks and raves, there is a strong argument to permit clubs to reopen albeit under strict controls.”
“Whilst many of these are large capacity venues, it is important to note that they already have many of the safety protocols in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. We implore the government to give us the opportunity to reopen in a safe, risk-assessed way.”
The government are yet to respond to their letter, but perhaps we could be dancing the night away in a nightclub with a face mask on much sooner than we think!