When are nightclubs, music venues and bowling alleys reopening? Date indoor entertainment venues could reopen in England

Boris Johnson has postponed the easing of a number of lockdown meaures – including the likes of casinos, bowling alleys and close-contact services

Friday, 14th August 2020, 4:37 pm
It'll be a while before clubbing is part of normal life again (Photo: Shutterstock)

Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are slowly beginning to ease to varying degrees.

But when will venues like casinos, bowling alleys, night clubs and more be able to reopen again?

This is everything you need to know.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Are nightclubs, casinos and music venues allowed to reopen?

In a last minute press conference held just after midday on Friday 31 July, Prime Minister Johnson had announced that a variety of venues that were meant to be able to reopen will now no longer be able to do so.

Johnson had said that while progress was being made in the fight against the coronavirus, the UK was “not exempt” from having its cases rise again, as other countries begin to feel the impact of a potential second wave of Covid-19.

He said: “I’ve also consistently warned that this virus could come back and that we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required.

"I’m afraid that in parts of Asia and in Latin America, the virus is gathering pace and some of our European friends are also struggling to keep it under control.”

As part of this announcement, Johnson revealed that the planned reopening of the likes of casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and close-contact services, which were due to reopen on Saturday 1 August, will now no longer go ahead.

But now, some of the aforementioned venues will be able to reopen their doors.

From Saturday 15 August across England, except in specific areas where local restrictions are in place, the following will be allowed to reopen:

- Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced guidelines

- Wedding receptions in the form of a sit down meal in a Covid-19 secure location will be permitted for up to 30 guests

- Indoor soft play areas, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen

- Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services, such as eyebrow threading and eyelash treatments

When will nightclubs reopen?

In the statement from the government, issued on 13 August, is said: “Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques, as well as sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars, remain closed in law.”

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.