We all know when nightclubs will be reopening in England now. Barring a last minute change of mind from Boris Johnson – and stranger things have happened – they’ll be back on July 19th. Masks are optional, social distancing not needed, no negative test to get in, and so on.
Some who claimed they wanted clubs reopened across Britain have gone noticeably quiet since Monday. The silence from Save Our Scene, who actually have the suffix UK at the end of their name, is particularly damning. They cared only for England – who knew, eh?
So, since no one else is doing this, let’s have a look at the so-called devolved nations. Will the clubs be open again soon north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, west of Offa’s Dyke or across the Irish Sea in Belfast?
Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, has previously said she hopes to remove most coronavirus restrictions in the country on August 9th. However, this relaxation would not be on the same scale as what’s proposed in England. Face masks would be expected to remain part of life for some time afterwards.
Scotland uses a levels system for lockdown purposes, going from 0 to 4. Even level 0 does not feature any information on nightclubs. The Night Time Industries Association announced legal action against the Scottish government over this issue back in May.
Nightclubs aren’t mentioned anywhere in the plans for Wales either. And by the looks of it, this isn’t something especially on the mind of the first minister, Mark Drakeford. Asked by Wales Online whether it would be July or even later that nightclubs reopened, he simply replied, “Yes”.
Once again, there is no date set for reopening nightclubs and the next review of Covid restrictions by the NI Executive is due later today. Michelle O’Neill, the Deputy First Minister in the province recently described Johnson’s plan for England as “reckless” and newly elected DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson could only say he hoped masks could become voluntary in the near future.
Matters are further complicated in Northern Ireland by having a border with another state – and the Republic of Ireland’s vaccine programme is running significantly behind the northern one. Cross border travel is commonplace and an added complication. Add all this up, and it looks like nightclubs won’t be back for several more months.
Could be a while before nights out in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast happen again…