Nightclubs are returning on July 19.
Nightclubs could open in under three weeks time without the need to ask attendees for vaccine proof or negative tests to enter, according to a media reports. Michael Gove, who is the cabinet minister leading the review, has said that these requirements would be “too much hassle” to ask of businesses and the public.
A government source is quoted in the Evening Standard, saying: “We are increasingly confident that people are protected and the plan is to reopen everything, with no exceptions.”
The move has been hailed as a useful one for the nighttime economy in London. Simon Thomas, chief executive of the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, told the Standard: “This would be a godsend to the night-time economy so we can relaunch central London to a global audience. It’s time to get on with life and live with this virus as we’ve lived with others before.”
However, not everyone takes this view, with concerns being cited about completely abandoning testing for events. Speaking to the i newspaper, Jeremy Joseph, owner of G-A-Y, said: “We talk about how we don’t want to go back into another lockdown, because hospitality can’t afford it.
“But we shouldn’t just be jumping from zero to 100 per cent. Everyone can get a lateral flow test for free – you should turn up with a negative result, or double vaccine proof. It’s no more difficult for door staff to check than ID.”
“Why should staff have to test to go to work, but customers don’t need anything? If somebody tests positive then the rest of the staff on shift have to isolate. How are you going to manage that in a venue like Heaven with a capacity of 1,625?”
As of now, it is thought testing and vaccine proof will not be necessary for nightclubs and large-scale events. Premier League stadiums, for example, may still adopt such measures.
During a test event in Liverpool, with a capacity of 3,500 people each night for two nights, no postitive Covid tests were recorded afterwards. Attendees, however, were required to be tested prior to taking part in the pilot.