Thousands to return to nightclub dancefloor as part of trials to reopen venues

By Claire Schofield
Sunday, 4th April 2021, 6:37 pm
Club-goers will be subject to a Covid-19 lateral flow test before entering the club (Photo: Shutterstock)
Club-goers will be subject to a Covid-19 lateral flow test before entering the club (Photo: Shutterstock)

The first club night event in more than a year will see thousands take to the dancefloor as part of new government trials.

The event will see more than 6,000 people pack into a warehouse at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool on 30 April and 1 May, as officials gather evidence on how venues can safely reopen without the need for social distancing.

Up to 3,000 people will be permitted entry on each night for the Circus club event.

Negative tests for entry

Club-goers will be subject to a Covid-19 lateral flow test before entering the club, which must be negative before they are allowed in.

People will also have to take a second test some time after the event.

Club owner and DJ Yousef Zaher, best known as Yousef, said he can picture “super excited” revellers jumping around in a circle “going nuts” as he looks forward to the event.

The DJ, who is also a producer and record label owner, said the venue is a “beautiful warehouse” which can hold 6,000 people and has outdoor space which has capacity for 10,000 people.

Yousef explained there is “enormous square footage” to be able to accommodate all the needs of the event, which he says will not just be a typical club night as there will be “a whole team of scientists” present in order to collect data.

Looking ahead to what it will feel like for the people there, he said: “I think everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are in the world, we all understand this feeling.

“The kind of idea of being back into some sort of normality, and especially if you’re into music of any variety, half of the excitement of it is being with other people.

“It doesn’t matter which band or DJ or whatever it is, it’s the inclusive inclusion of what you’re used to.”

The government trials will take place in the hope of enabling the safe return of crowds to mass gatherings and will include Wembley football cup finals, a comedy club in Liverpool, and three 10K races.

Series of trial events planned

The government is rolling out a series of trial events over the next few months to enable the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events, with the launch of a ‘Covid status certification’ scheme.

The so-called ‘vaccine passports’ will show if a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, had a recent negative test, or has “natural immunity” having tested positive in the previous six months.

The first trial is due to take place on 16 April at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, followed two days later by the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on 18 April.

The scheme will also be tested at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which runs from 17 April to 3 May, and a mass participation run at Hatfield House on 24 and 25 April.

The pilots will culminate with the FA Cup Final, again at Wembley, on 15 May.

Officials are working with clinical and ethical experts to ensure there are “appropriate exemptions” for people who are advised to the vaccine and for whom repeat testing would be difficult.

Liverpool City Council has confirmed that events taking place in the city as part of the trials will not require people to show Covid-19 vaccine passports.