Still no clarity on nightclub reopening date

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Radio silence: the Government has yet to reveal when late-night venues can resume trading
Radio silence: the Government has yet to reveal when late-night venues can resume trading

Related tags: Late night, MA500, Legislation, ukhospitality

While the Government has announced a slew of hospitality businesses can now reopen, it has remained tight-lipped on when the late-night sector venues can trade again.

The latest easing of restrictions means bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can reopen alongside indoor play and soft play centres that comply with Covid-19 secure guidelines.

These, alongside indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance can open their doors from tomorrow (Saturday 15 August) with the exception of specific areas where local restrictions are still in place.

It also means small wedding receptions in the form of a sit down meal (up to 30 people) can now take place, as can 'close contact services and treatments' at beauty treatments, tattoo parlours, spas and barbers. 

However, nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques as well as sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars remain shut.

This comes after trade body UKHospitality (UKH) wrote to culture minister Oliver Dowden on 29 July calling for clarification of the Government’s plans for nightclubs and stated its concern at the absence of a programme allowing businesses to plan for a return to trade.

Make or break

The Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “Much of the rest of the sector has been permitted to reopen but nightclubs are still closed.

“The clubbing season in the UK traditionally begins to get busy in September so we are now less than a month away from a potentially make-or-break period.

“We have used science-backed plans that take into account our specific issues with absolutely every precaution to ensure nightclubs can be fully risk-assessed and be as safe as possible for customers and staff.

“That means controlled entry systems, training for our staff, improved ventilation systems and minimal touch points on site.

“We are ready to welcome customers back safely straight away but the Government is keeping us closed.”

Real risk

UKH has today (Friday 14 August) welcomed the further reopening of hospitality but reiterated its concerns about the lack of a plan for reopening of nightclubs.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is another welcome step to returning to some sort of normality. Lots of businesses like soft play and bowling alleys were feeling overlooked during this crisis. It’s great to see they can now begin to get up and running. It will help keep more businesses alive and valuable jobs open.

“Opening up indoor performances is great news for theatres and music venues and the same goes for wedding receptions. Even in reduced numbers, permitting couples to push ahead with weddings that will have taken no small amount of planning is very positive news.

“We are still concerned that there appears to be no plan for the reopening of nightclubs, though. Clubs all around the country are now at a very real risk of going out of business. We need a plan for their reopening immediately.”

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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