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UK clubs will trial safe reopening with volunteers
courtesy Long Truong via Unsplash

UK clubs will enlist volunteers to trial safe reopening strategies

If all goes well, clubbing could be back as early as June 21

If virtual club nights and online parties haven’t been doing it for you during lockdown, then you might be in luck. From April, nightclubs in the UK are set to start trialling safe reopening strategies, as part of the government’s “road map” to relaxing coronavirus closures. 

The so-called “events research programme” will reportedly see volunteers attend nightclubs, stadiums, theatres, concerts, and other events. According to the Times, the trial will involve ten pilot events, helping to establish the kinds of testing and safety measures that need to be implemented for the events industry to open up again safely.

A verification system, used upon arrival at events, will be among the features tested, as well as ventilation at venues and other measures such as staggered entry. In Germany, a similar experiment saw researchers test the spread of COVID during three concerts back in August – in the end, they concluded that the risk of the virus spreading in venues following strict protocols is “low to very low”.

Following months out of action due to COVID-19 restrictions and nationwide lockdowns, the UK initially gave hope to its nightlife industry earlier this week (February 22), with the announcement that clubs could be reopened as soon as lockdown lifts on June 21. It’s now been suggested that this will depend on results from the research.

Despite a variety of proposed workarounds – from new verification technology to PPE rave suits – coronavirus has created a precarious landscape for the UK’s nightlife industry.

In November last year, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) warned that nightclubs “have been systematically extinguished from the night time economy by the UK government”, criticising: “the failure of the government to recognise the devastating impact of its actions on this sector.”

Take a deeper look at what the future of partying might look like in a post-pandemic world here.