With lockdown restrictions set to ease further on May 17 to allow overnight stays, indoor activities, reopening of entertainment venues and the hugging of loved ones, many nightclubs are asking ‘why hugs not clubs?’.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has criticised the government’s roadmap to reopening life after lockdown, where nightclubs and venues will have to wait until June 21 to open their doors again.
Michael Kill, NTIA CEO, said: “The announcement of hugs being allowed within environments has led to the question around why ‘Hugs Not Clubs’. This looks and feels like the Government pushing nightclubs to the back of the queue once again.”
The NTIA has warned that nightclubs are left in a ‘critical position’ with some having to close their doors for good in the past 12 months.
Vaccinations continue to roll out across the country, and pilot events have recently taken place in Liverpool to test the safety of nightlife reopening in the UK. Now, the government is being urged to commit to a clear roadmap where all restrictions are lifted.
“It seems bizarre and illogical to us that people can start hugging in household environments which at the peak of infection accounted for large proportions of Covid transmission,” says Michael Kill. "But people are still not allowed to move about, let alone, dance, in hospitality and late-night venues which the science has consistently shown have a lower level of transmission.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter