This is when nightclubs and casinos in Scotland could reopen - and the new rules you could have to follow

By Rhona Shennan
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 3:36 pm
It appears that it will be a while before clubbing is part of normal life again (Photo: Shutterstock)
It appears that it will be a while before clubbing is part of normal life again (Photo: Shutterstock)

Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are slowly beginning to ease, with food and drink venues being permitted to reopen their doors to the public once again from 15 July.

But as life seemingly gets back to normal, when will nightclubs, music venues and casinos be able to welcome customers? And will they have to follow different rules when they do?

This is everything you need to know about when nightlife might resume - and how your going out experience could be different when they do.

Are nightclubs, music venues and casinos allowed to reopen?

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    While pubs and restaurants have been given the green light to reopen from 15 July, subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice, it’s unlikely that nightclubs, music venues and casinos will be able to reopen until the virus is well under control.

    The latest guidance on the Scottish Government’s website, updated on 29 June, provided a list of businesses and premises which must remain closed by law.

    The list outlined whether there are any exceptions that would allow them to reopen.

    Casinos, nightclubs and bars in hotels or members’ clubs are included on the list of business establishments that must remain closed, with no exceptions that would allow them to reopen.

    There has been no confirmed date for when nightclubs, casinos or similar venues might be able to reopen.

    The Scottish Government’s website states that “this guidance comes into effect immediately and extends until further notice”.

    The reopening of indoor entertainment venues is subject to further public health advice, with no specific date given for when this might be.

    In a speech issued on 24 June, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Theatres, bingo halls, nightclubs, casinos and other ‘live’ entertainment venues will not reopen until a later date.”

    Will nightclubs have social distancing rules?

    On Saturday 20 June, The Times released a leaked government document that suggested that nightclubs would have to adhere by a strict set of rules before being allowed to reopen.

    While the document, which was reportedly drawn up by government officials as well as hospitality industry executives, refers to English nightclubs, it could be likely that rules regarding nightclubs in Scotland would be the same.

    The document explains that nightclubs and dance floors are “a challenging area to operate under any form of physical distancing requirements”.

    It goes on to suggest that English clubbers might be required to use hand sanitiser and have their temperatures checked before being permitted entry - and that queues outside a club might have to be spaced out with socially distant markers.

    Have other countries reopened their nightclubs?

    In Spain, bars and nightclubs were allowed to open from 8 June, as it entered phase three of its reopening process. However, dancing is not permitted and social distancing must be observed.

    In New South Wales, Australia, nightclubs could be allowed to reopen in August if community transmission rates are kept low - however social distancing rules will still need to be enforced.

    In China, people heading out to bars and clubs have to show a government app on their phone upon entry - this acts as proof of their health credentials and helps the government track cases of the virus as well.

    In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that on 8 June, all Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted as the last remaining case of coronavirus was eliminated.

    This meant that the country could basically go back to normal, with all venues being able to reopen with no social distancing measures.

    However, since then, more cases of the virus have cropped up, forcing restrictions to tighten again.