The late-night venues have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and have been left as the only type of cultural venues not allowed at any point since lockdown first began.
But that’s all about to change. Here’s what to expect as we gear up to make our long-awaited return to the dancefloor.
What rules will nightclubs have to follow?
Both venues and clubbers had been anxiously awaiting the Government’s announcement on the lifting of restrictions to see whether additional measures might be applied to nightclubs after July 19.
As it stands, nightclubs will not be required by law to enforce social distancing, mask wearing or any obligatory use of Covid tests or vaccine passports for customers.
However, the Government has confirmed it will “urging” – but not demanding – nightclubs to use Covid-status certification. The scheme, which has already been trialled at some events, asks attendees to prove either that they’ve been double-vaccinated, have recently tested negative for Covid, or have natural immunity.
Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his Government would be asking nightclubs to heed their guidance “as a matter of social responsibility”.
The news has been welcomed by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which said that the decision to reopen nightclubs from July 19 was “the correct one”.
Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, said: “After 16 months of crippling restrictions, businesses in the night time economy are ready to play our part in the safe reopening of society. Today should mark the beginning of nightlife’s long journey to rebuild itself.”
Mr Kill said that there are a number of “important hurdles ahead for our sector, including self-isolation rules, which have the potential to throw the recovery off course”, but that “the sense of community and togetherness the sector has shown to this point will help us overcome these challenges.”
He also said that the Government “are right not to mandate the use of Covid status certification systems. Much of the night time economy relies on spontaneous consumers, and by permitting businesses to opt out, the Government have allowed for this trade to continue.”
He added: “I think now we can say, with more confidence than at any point previously during the pandemic, that better days lie ahead.”