Covid-19 is killing Britain’s nightlife, so why isn’t the government doing more to save it?


Article from The Independent

There are few parts of the economy that have been as badly affected by Covid-19 than nightlife – or to be more accurate, the response to the coronavirus, rather than the disease itself. Nightclubs have been forced to close since March and face another six months of closure. The ratcheting up of restrictions, and the accompanying fines, for anyone trying to organise alternative events like raves, have killed off any ingenious attempts to meet the intense demand and desire to congregate and have fun.
There are two ways that a government can kill off an industry; passivity or effort. Leaving a sector to quietly dwindle in the face of an emerging threat to its viability is the passive approach. The problem with that is your goal of extinction can rumble on for years. Far better to put some effort into the execution, pulling all the policy levers at your disposal. Make no mistake this government is attending to the night-time economy, but not in a way that anyone involved wants.

Opportunism is the driver behind the effort to extinguish nightclubs and other outlets that provide, mainly young people, with a venue for enjoying themselves in city centres. There are few in government who derive any benefit from this sector, personally or politically, and empathy with its fate is about as low as it is possible to measure. The effort in destroying it is sometimes subtle and at other times blatant.
The subtle is exemplified by the chancellor’s recent announcement of not wanting to support jobs that were no longer “viable”. It was initially difficult to discern what this meant until the detail of the winter economy plan was revealed. Nothing in this plan provided tangible hope for the sector or the thousands employed in it. Many freelancers and others were already excluded from the previous support packages such as the furlough scheme. This plan makes clear that there is no support on offer going forward.
The blatant approach on the other hand is also brutal and leaves any onlooker in no doubt that this is a sector that’s been abandoned.
Restrictions limiting numbers of customers, even if they are allowed to open, mean it wouldn’t be a commercially viable operation, leaving only those who have deep enough pockets to subsidise a nightclub opening its doors. Then there was the introduction of a night-time curfew starting at 10pm just to make it absolutely clear what the intention is. There is no other explanation, as the justification for the curfew has no scientific support and the government has been unable to provide a single piece of evidence showing how it would contribute to the suppression of the virus.

As with the mass gentrification that came before, this is an attempt to clear city centres of any noisy and unsavoury activity in the evening. Leaving these unviable businesses to be offloaded or seized due to bankruptcy and be picked up by developers and speculators for a song. The soul of the urban centre will be turned into high end accommodation priced at a level to ensure only the “right” type of occupant is able to afford it.

This is all playing out in front of our eyes, but difficult to see due to the distractions we have to navigate just to survive. We need to think carefully about whether we want a government that has an ambition for us all simply to exist or one that aims for living a life with all its experiences and shades of enjoyment. Nightclubs and the wider night-time economy are not a “nice to have” optional extra, they are for many the only way to feel as though they are alive and not simply existing.


The thought of city and town centres without venues and nightclubs is depressing.
Isn't it the nightlife that first attracts people to a city, why bother moving if you then have to travel miles for a night out?
Why would anyone want to pay premium price for poorer experience?

I'm missing going to gigs, I'd almost look forward to one with my lad.


The new normal bit like the football may never go back to how things were. Government are hopeless but think all governments are in on it.


Blue Roofer
For those that know it, I’ve been to The Stags Head a few times this summer. Nigel’s been open since the first day he could, he’s still showing football and other sport and the pub does feel like the old place. He’s been careful to make sure it doesn’t lose the look and smell of the place. Some of the other pubs nearby haven’t reopened which has helped him a bit.

Since these new restrictions including the 10pm closing time he told me he’s finding it really hard work. The numbers are obviously a lot down, being even more on his feet every day to serve his punters, to keep asking people to mask up on entry and when going to the toilets etc. He told me if the inspector comes in and a person walking around is not wearing a mask the person would be fined as would he as the landlord, despite all his signs etc. However another total lockdown wouldn’t be disastrous for him so he keeps going.

A few things have gone against him too including him not being able to use the outside tables down the side road for a period as they have resurfaced the road. The BBC are running at 10% to 15% capacity in their London HQ too and a good number of local offices haven’t reopened.

If you’re in the area please do support him and pop in for a drink. He will also continue to show the Leicester matches. I definitely plan to head there for some of the European games.

Please do also pop into your local. If you don’t support them they may well end up closing down for good.


So we want to work from home because it’s safer and bugger the pubs and cafes but we want long opening hours to all congregate together and bugger the rules and effect on others
What effect on others would that be?
This virus is so deadly we're sending our kids to school who's ability to socially distance is pretty much zero.
If you really believe that this virus is so deadly but are sending your children to school then as a parent you're a shit one and your kids should be taken from you.
Our economy is crashing, the establishment cronies are making millions and us and our children will be paying for it for years to come.
Are people really scared of the virus or scared of the governments?
If you're scared of the virus then educate yourself, stop reading the Sun and watching the BBC.
If you're scared of the government then well done, you've taken your first steps towards accepting a dictatorship.


nightlife for the roof demographic,is dogging down the common,walking aids,sanitised,are available foc..😎