When will nightclubs reopen?

Boris Johnson confirmed that England will enter the next phase of lockdown easing on Monday 17 May

Boris Johnson has confirmed that England has “met our four tests for further easing the lockdown in England,” announcing that planned changes to socialising with other households and mixing indoors will be able to go ahead.

While he unveiled news about changes to socialising with other households and mixing indoors, Mr Johnson has not lifted any restrictions around nightlife just yet.

However, on 30 April, roughly 6,000 people filled a warehouse in Liverpool as part of a trial to see how nightlife venues could reopen later this summer.

Mr Johnson had already given a nod to the industry in a speech earlier in February, when he said that rapid turnaround lateral flow tests could be used to test those in the queue for clubs and venues for Covid-19.

But he has also offered yet more concrete guidance on when people should expect to be able to reopen the doors of nightclubs.

What are the rules on nightlife?

Nightclubs have been unable to operate since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, unlike pubs and restaurants, which have reopened at certain times throughout the last year.

Mr Johnson has said that the government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on certain events and performances from 21 June, with the caveat that this is the earliest date from which this could happen.

But with the caveat that this is the earliest such date that this will happen.

This will be the last stage in a staggered approach to easing lockdown, which began with allowing greater mixing of households outside from 8 March with people permitted to see one other person.

Will this definitely happen?

For nightclubs reopening, as with all of the roadmap, Mr Johnson has repeatedly said that all easing measures are based on the data showing diminishing case numbers and hospitalisations.

He said that the government will be led by “data, not dates”. This time he has specifically included four tests, which must be met in order to roll out the lockdown easing:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus

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