Face masks and social distancing could be mandatory at nightclubs when they reopen

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Nightclubs in England could end up reopening on 21 June at the earliest – but you might be pairing your outfit with your face mask.

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed Monday (22 February) that nightclubs, shuttered for nearly a year since the first March 2020 lockdown, might be reopening by the summertime.

But caution is crucial this time around, Johnson stressed – and even after restrictions are lifted, things may not be completely back to normal.

HuffPost reported that whether or not face masks and social distancing will be required for nightclubs will be decided ahead of 21 June.

In the document outlining the four-step roadmap to recovery plan, the final step would see the reopening of nightclubs alongside “no legal limits on social contact”.

But as the document describes, such actions are “subject to review” and while limits to venue capacity may certainly be peeled back by then, regulations around social distancing – staying one metre away from others – might remain in place.

“Ahead of step four, as more is understood about the impact of vaccines on transmission and a far greater proportion of the population has been vaccinated, the government will complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place to limit transmission,” it states.

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G-A-Y bar in Soho, London. (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty)

“The results of the review will help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1m+, face masks and other measures may be lifted.

“The review will also inform guidance on working from home – people should continue to work from home where they can until this review is complete.”

Long dreamed-of scenes of nightclub speakers blasting Chromatica hinge on four factors, Johnson said: The continued success of the vaccine roll-out; no new variant risks; no new surges that would weather the NHS and an overall reduction in COVID-19 deaths.

Each phase of the lockdown easing is also spaced apart by a minimum of five weeks, giving decision-makers ample time to review and, if needed, reassess strategies

Face mask-wearing in indoor spaces and social distancing, as well as hand-washing and one-way entry systems, might all be kept in place for well beyond June, epidemiologists suggest.

In minutes from an 11 February meeting of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), members warned that such “baseline measures” could be needed until the end of 2022 to “reduce the scale of a resurgence”.

Johnson suggested last week that nightclubs might use rapid lateral flow tests to reopen.