Fans return to nightclubs in England as COVID ‘freedom day’ arrives

At the stroke of midnight last night (July 19), fans returned to nightclubs across England as the country entered its ‘freedom day’, with all legal COVID-19 restrictions now removed.

As part of the government’s unlocking plan, nightlife has now returned in England without social distancing or capacity limits as the country enters the fourth and final stage of its route out of lockdown.

A large number of nightclubs held special opening parties last night, opening their doors as the restrictions were lifted at midnight.

Those included Kingston nightclub Pryzm, London’s EGG venue, Fibre Bar in Leeds and more. See photos, footage and reaction from the country’s return to clubbing below.

Clubbers queue around the block at a few minutes to midnight waiting for Covid-19 restrictions to be dropped and for Pryzm nightclub to open its doors once more on July 18, 2021 in Brighton, England. Credit: Chris Eades/Getty Images.

People queue to get in to the Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in London, England. Credit: Rob Pinney/Getty Images.

Last week, REKOM UK – who own over 40 nightclubs across the UK – rejected the government’s advice to voluntarily request COVID passports from attendees once restrictions are lifted, and a new poll then found that eight out of 10 nightlife business in the UK are set to follow suit.

The survey of 250 venues, which was conducted by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), found that 82 per cent would not be asking their customers to provide their COVID status in order to gain entry.

Speaking to NME earlier this month, NTIA boss Michael Kill said that the challenge for nightclubs in terms of reopening “is to be responsible”.

“We have to be realistic in terms of protecting our staff and customers while retaining some key protocols and really consider the government guidance. We need to do our part,” he said. “We can’t just say: ‘The doors are open – let’s run’. Let’s proceed with caution.”