For the first time in more than 13 months, people have been heading on a night ‘out out’ as the UK carries out a coronavirus safety pilot event in Liverpool.
The First Dance event is taking place in Liverpool this Friday and Saturday evening, with around 6,000 people expected to hit the dancefloor over the two nights at Circus, the city’s warehouse based nightclub.
Nightclubs and similar entertainment venues currently remain closed across the UK, but this event is part of a pilot (the Events Research Programme) to look at if and how venues can safely re-open later in the year in the context of the coronavirus epidemic.
Over the past year, most industries have reopened at some point and just been closed for lockdown periods, however, the nighttime entertainment industry has remained closed throughout the last year. The closures have seen some venues having to close their doors for good, while others have let staff go due to the difficult financial impacts.
The event being held in Liverpool is ticketed, only for locals and attendees have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before entering – however, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings are not required.
Scientists and researchers are to monitor the event to try and learn about how future events can resume safely in the context of coronavirus still being in some form of circulation.
Trials have also taken place at other events, including at Wembley Stadium last weekend for the Carabao Cup final. Successful trials of letting a reduced number of fans into football stadiums were also tried in the Autumn but later stopped due to high rates of coronavirus across the country.
While now remaining fairly constant, coronavirus case rates in England have continued to fall slightly with the current 7-day case rate for the country just 23.9 cases per 100,000 people. That is the lowest rate since last summer and has not increased compared to the rate two months ago at the start of the gradual easing of lockdown measures.
The next major set of lockdown easements in England is scheduled for 17 May, with indoor hospitality and accommodation among the easements set to take place from this date.
While the pilot in Liverpool could help safety research and act as a long-awaited rave for attendees, the rest of the nation will have to wait a while longer for a night ‘out out’, with nightclubs not due to reopen until at least 21 June under current Government plans.