This is what going out could look like when nightclubs reopen in the UK
Easing of restrictions around the UK will see the gradual reopening of non-essential businesses in the next few weeks, including hairdressers and pubs.
Limits on the number of people allowed in contact with each other will be relaxed, to the relief of millions of residents.
Yet, some group activities - including clubbing - are still some way off resuming in the UK, given the danger they pose for the spread of coronavirus.
It’s hard to imagine how clubbing could resume with Covid-safe practices in place, given being in a nightclub usually involves very close indoor contact with a number of strangers. Yet, around the world, countries coming out of lockdown have contended with the problem, and come up with some creative solutions to clubbing safely.
Their example could provide insight into post-lockdown nights out in the UK.
Registering at the door
In countries where nightlife has resumed, the practice of taking names and additional details on entry to pubs, clubs and bars has been an essential part of keeping coronavirus under control.
In April, clubbers in South Korea’s capital city Seoul tested positive for the virus shortly after a night out, threatening the country with a second wave of the virus.
However, thanks to the process of registering names, addresses and other details at the door of clubs, officials in South Korea were able to track down 46,000 people who had been exposed to the virus to test them.
A total of 160 people tested positive and were isolated, preventing further spread of the virus.
To be able to keep the virus under control, the UK is likely to take a similar tack when clubs reopen, with some pubs in England already planning to take a register of names at the door when they reopen from 4 July.
Limits on numbers
Similarly, clubs could follow pubs by introducing lower limits on the number of people permitted to enter at any one time to accommodate social distancing.
In Berlin, the party capital of Europe, reopened clubs have had to contend with the introduction of physical distancing between patrons, even when on the dancefloor.
There is some concern that the need for limits on numbers could put late night venues in peril, given many already operate on slim margins.
Temperature checks and other safety measures
Other measures that could be taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in clubs could include temperature checks at doors, as well as hygiene measures such as mask-wearing and encouragement of frequent handwashing.
Clubs themselves, like other businesses, will have to introduce intensive cleaning and disinfecting procedures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Utilising outdoor space
With research showing that the risks of transmission are greatly reduced when outdoors, clubs across the UK with outdoor space will likely capitalise on the opportunity to use it.
In a number of countries, venues with indoor dancefloors have not been permitted to use them due to the risk of transmission.
In countries where dancing is now permitted, distancing is often in place. In Berlin, a 1.5 metre distance is recommended between patrons on the dancefloor.