Nightclubs may open again on 21 June regardless of rules

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Some UK nightclubs are considering reopening on 21 June even if the government delays the date for lifting lockdown restrictions.

According to City AM, Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), declared the sector was “getting to breaking point”, adding that a potential delay to reopening had sparked “panic and anxiety” for businesses.

He said the industry was now considering “every avenue” for challenging a delay, including a legal battle, while some venues were considering protests or opening their doors regardless.

The lobby group, representing British bars, nightclubs and live music venues, is also in talks with companies in other sectors, such as hospitality, about launching a collective challenge.

Fears have been mounting that the final stage of the government’s roadmap for ending Covid measures could be pushed back by several weeks amid concerns about the spread of the Indian variant of the virus.

Ministers met with scientific advisers this week and will announce their decision on Monday 14 June.

The pushback from nightlife groups comes after Andrew Lloyd-Webber vowed to reopen his theatres at full capacity later this month regardless of the rules.

The theatre entrepreneur said he was willing to risk arrest if authorities tried to intervene.

The UK’s nightlife sector has been one of the worst impacted by the pandemic, with many remaining closed since March last year.

A survey conducted by the NTIA found 95 per cent of businesses in the sector had already made financial commitments and logistic preparations to reopen, including ordering stock, calling in staff and selling tickets.

Kill warned that a delay would result in the loss of business and livelihoods, “culminating in further loss of confidence in the sector”.

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