Here’s when nightclubs and casinos could reopen in England - and the rules you may need to follow

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:37 pm
It seems like it's going to be a while before clubbing is part of normal life again (Photo: Shutterstock)
It seems like it's going to be a while before clubbing is part of normal life again (Photo: Shutterstock)

Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are slowly beginning to ease, with food and drink venues being permitted to reopen their doors to the public from 4 July in England.

But as life seemingly gets back to normal, when will nightclubs be able to welcome customers? And will there be new rules in place?

This is everything you need to know - and how your going out experience could change.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Are nightclubs, casinos and music venues allowed to reopen?

While the likes of pubs and restaurants have been given the green light to reopen under strict social distancing rules, it’s unlikely we’ll see the return of nightclubs until the virus is completely under control in the UK.

As part of step three of the government’s plan to lift lockdown restrictions, it was stated that “all businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July”, except from the following, which must remain closed by law:

  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas including soft play
  • Spas
  • Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
  • Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • Swimming pools including water parks
  • Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue

When will nightclubs reopen?

In the Prime Minister’s statement to the House, delivered on Tuesday 23 June, Boris Johnson said: “‘Close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks.”

When lockdown procedures were being implemented, the government released a 50 page document titled Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

In this dossier, it explains that reopening indoor public spaces “whose core purpose is social interaction (such as nightclubs)” will only be possible significantly later in the roadmap, “depending on the reduction in numbers of infections”.

Will nightclubs have social distancing rules?

On Saturday 20 June, The Times released a leaked government document that suggested that nightclubs would have to adhere by a strict set of rules before being allowed to reopen.

The document, which was reportedly drawn up by government officials as well as hospitality industry executives, explains that nightclubs and dance floors are “a challenging area to operate under any form of physical distancing requirements”.

The document goes on to suggest that clubbers might be required to use hand sanitiser and have their temperatures checked before being permitted entry - and that queues outside a club might have to be spaced out with socially distant markers.

Have other countries reopened their nightclubs?

In Spain, bars and nightclubs were allowed to open from 8 June, as it entered phase three of its reopening process. However, dancing is not permitted and social distancing must be observed.

In New South Wales, Australia, nightclubs could be allowed to reopen in August if community transmission rates are kept low - however social distancing rules will still need to be enforced.

In China, people heading out to bars and clubs have to show a government app on their phone upon entry - this acts as proof of their health credentials and helps the government track cases of the virus as well.

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that on 8 June, all Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted as the last remaining case of coronavirus was eliminated.

This meant that the country could basically go back to normal, with all venues being able to reopen with no social distancing measures.

However, since then, more cases of the virus have cropped up, forcing restrictions to tighten again.