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Boris Johnson finally comments on how nightclubs could reopen

Rapid lateral flow testing could be the answer.

2021-02-17

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered a glimmer of hope to the nightlife industry by referencing circumstances in which clubs could reopen.

The PM addressed the matter in a press conference from Downing Street this week, calling nightclubs "one of the toughest nuts to crack" in terms of unlocking the economy.

Since the UK entered various states of coronavirus-induced lockdown this time last year, nightclubs - and LGBTQ venues in particular - have suffered greatly.

"Still early days"

According to the BBC, Johnson said "rapid" lateral flow tests could be used by "those parts of the economy we couldn't get open last year."

"That, in combination with vaccination, will probably be the route forward," he continued, adding it was "still early days [and] there are lots of discussions to be had."

However an insider warned the outlet: "There is a long way to go before we can get people back at big events safely."

According to the government, rapid lateral flow tests work by taking a sample from the nose or back of the throat and testing that sample for the presence of antigens, the signature proteins of the virus. They show results visually, in the same way as many pregnancy tests.

"Who is going to start a club now?"

Last August, members of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) warned 754,000 jobs were at risk over lack of government support.

Then, in October, it was reported that popular London LGBTQ+ spaces Admiral Duncan, Retro Bar and Kings Arms were to remain closed while their parent company 'rebased' it's business.

This week, G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph told i: "So far this has cost us £1.1m in bills and insurance. The accounts are dying now and we’re in serious trouble.

"When we went into first lockdown, we used savings to get through it. In the second lockdown we made a little bit of money to help us get through.

“Now I’m literally looking at what changes can we make. If I could sell one of the venues’ leases now, I would. But who is going to start a club now?"

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