CLUBBERS can finally hit dance floors across the country again as nightclubs are set to reopen.
"Freedom Day" on July 19 will see the last of lockdown restrictions lifted – and there will be no need for social distancing or masks at clubs.
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Boris Johnson announced the last stage of lifting of lockdown restrictions will finally go ahead.
Nightclubs will be allowed to open, along with other venues that have remained closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, including strip clubs and shisha bars.
Mr Johnson said Britain could unlock further after the successful rollout of vaccines.
He said: "As we come to the fourth step, we have to balance the risks. We must take a careful and balanced decision."
But the government will move away from legal restrictions, letting people take "their own informed decisions" about wearing a mask.
In a "big bang" showering of freedoms on July 19, the PM confirmed:
- Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces, including supermarkets and at pubs and restaurants
- All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
- Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms' discretion
- Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
- Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
- ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
- The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
- It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
- Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
- Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
- Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case
It's the last stage of the government's roadmap for leaving lockdown restrictions behind and getting the country back on track after Covid.
Freedom Day will mark the return of major nightlife for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) welcomed the "very important steps" of lifting restrictions "which have decimated the night time economy over the last sixteen months".
Michael Kill, boss of the NTIA said: “To hear the Prime Minister say that we need to learn to live with this virus is a long overdue step, and will be a relief to our sector.
"It is difficult to overstate the significance of the impact the pandemic has had on this industry."
But Mr Kill said the industry was disappointed there would only be notice of a week, from final confirmation on July 12 to reopening on July 19.
He said: "One week is simply not enough time for businesses to plan to reopen – and it betrays the sense that the Government doesn't understand what it takes to reopen a businesses after over a year without trading.”
Nightclubs were forced to close their doors because of the Covid lockdown in March 2020 and have not been allowed to open since then.
The easing of lockdown rules allowing revellers to return to dancefloors had been expected on June 21.
What businesses can reopen?
THE new ‘Freedom Day’ date where all remaining rules should be lifted is July 19.
- Strip clubs
- Shisha bars
- Music venues
- Any other venue still closed
But those plans were delayed because of rising concerns around the new Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Pubs and bars have been allowed to open between lockdowns, with restrictions in place like masks and table service.
But nightclub doors have stayed firmly closed throughout due to the difficulty of keeping everyone safe.
There is limited social distancing and it's harder to keep areas clean constantly.
Now they will welcome customers again, with no requirements for social distancing or masks.
Masks will become voluntary everywhere, with no fines for not wearing one, but people are being urged to think of others and play it safe in areas where they are in close contact to others.
Cases of coronavirus are still rising but deaths and hospital admissions are not as the nation gets jabbed, breaking the link between infections and deaths.
Nightclubs and other venues opening their doors again can still request you wear a mask under their own rules to keep staff and other customers safe.
There will also be no need for a "Covid passport" to prove you've had your jab before entering.
While proof of a coronavirus vaccine will not be required by law, venues can still impose there own rules asking to see that revellers have been vaccinated.
There will also be no limits on the number of people who can be inside at once, unless a venue decides to put limits on capacity themselves.
Social distancing and masks that are currently required at hospitality venues including pubs and restaurants will be gone from July 19.
Again, they may well choose to keep some of these safety measures in place.
There had been fears that there would be strict rules for heading to nightclubs, putting more pressure on the already struggling £40billion a year sector.
The lifting of restrictions has been welcomed as a "god-send" for the nightime industries.
Pilot tests of large events have taken place, including a club night in Liverpool was among them
The results show that there were "no substantial outbreaks" after any of the trials, with 28 infections among 58,000 participants.
The delay to the last stage of reopening the country after the pandemic has raised fears that more jobs could be lost.
The furlough scheme has supported wages of millions of people unable to work when businesses were closed, many of them in the hospitality industries.
Despite the delay to reopening, the furlough scheme started to wind down at the start of the month, when employers were asked to contribute more
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