While things still look a little bit twisted, most parts of London as we know it have returned in some form – from restaurants with tables spread far apart to bowling alleys with sanitised balls and plastic gloves. But nightclubs still remain shuttered. The capital almost seems to have a curfew, with late-night venues in London – especially those with a dancefloor – yet to get the green light to reopen under new regulations.
In response, UK club owners have got together and called upon the Institute of Occupational Medicine to help them draw up guidelines for Covid-secure clubbing. The report suggests clubbers wear face masks throughout venues, including on the dancefloor, and that socially distanced dancefloors have bouncers on duty to make sure punters remain spread out.
Other suggested new measures include temperature checks on the door, as well as ID scans so that track-and-trace systems can be implemented.
The scientific report was commissioned by big bodies in the entertainment world, including the Night Time Industries Association, Festival Republic – who put on Wireless each year, among other UK festivals – and the Music Venues Trust.
It was followed up with analysis from the Night Time Industries Association, which claims that 80 percent of UK nighttime venues are on the brink of permanent closure – which could amount to some 75,000 potential job losses. It also puts the argument that illegal raves cropping up as a result of venue closures are more detrimental to the fight against the virus than allowing clubs to reopen.
‘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 flowing from government guidance and individual risk assessments informed by experience from other sectors,’ says the report.
There is still no date set by the government for the reopening of clubs in England, although live music performances are now permitted to socially distanced audiences. We’re waiting with our club-ready masks in hand, tbh.
Get warmed up for the bank holiday weekend: here’s a brief history of Notting Hill Carnival’s Rampage soundsystem.