It will be great to see Leeds dancing again - YEP Comment

To look at me you would not think I was a dancer, and you’d be absolutely correct to think that, because I am appalling.
Nightclubs can reopen from tomorrow. (Photo: Shutterstock)Nightclubs can reopen from tomorrow. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Nightclubs can reopen from tomorrow. (Photo: Shutterstock)

And yet, I absolutely love a boogie in a nightclub. Not a cool nightclub mind, because my music taste hasn't evolved since 2006, but a Kylie medley on the Viaduct dancefloor? Sign me up.

Nightclubs, like many other hospitality businesses, were forced to close more than 18 months ago, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

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Unlike other businesses however, they have not been allowed to reopen since, with many, such as Club Mission, being forced to shut their doors for good.

It makes sense in some ways that these clubs were not able to reopen, as social distanced dancefloors sound like joyless places, but it doesn’t make it less sad to see them go.

As the so-called “Freedom Day” approaches on Monday, July 19, and all the legal coronavirus restrictions are lifted, venues like nightclubs will be able to open once again.

Two metre distance warnings are being scrapped and face masks are no longer a legal requirement, though the Government is recommending that businesses like clubs use “certification” as a basis of entry to venues deemed “high risk”.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said this would involve using the NHS Covid Pass to ask punters for proof they are double-jabbed or have tested negative for coronavirus.

However, this would be “non-compulsory” and up to each management’s discretion.

Peter Marks, Chief executive of REKOM UK, which owns Pryzm nightclub, has already said his clubs will not be asking for a Covid passport.

Mr Marks said he was “thrilled” to be able to reopen next Monday “at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative Covid test, something we believe would create a barrier to both customer enjoyment and getting the industry back on its feet”.

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He said reopened nightclubs will operate as pubs are currently running.

Obviously this huge change will garner different reactions from different people, some will be thrilled, others cautious and some will be understandably terrified after a truly traumatising year.

We’ve all got to take things at our own pace, but I am tentatively excited at the prospect of heading back into town for a drink and a dance, though naturally I won’t know how comfortable I am until I see how things are operating.

There have been so many missed birthday nights out, missed celebrations and many ‘virtual works do’ that didn’t quite cut the mustard.

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It will be nice to go out in real life for a spin on the dancefloor and just have a bit of fun after a long, strange year.

Whether you’re heading to the Ruckus24 opening party at Mint Warehouse, reliving your teenage years dancing to The Strokes in Stone Roses Bar or Backroom’s midnight reopening party, it will be great to head back out for some music and laughter again soon.

And if you’re not quite ready to venture back to clubs yet, there’s nothing to stop you making the most of the summer, putting some tunes on and having a twirl away in the garden.