'Monumental': First nightclub with zero COVID rules just hours from opening its doors

·3-min read

A Liverpool nightclub will open its doors on Friday for the first time in over a year.

Circus, at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse, will welcome 6,000 clubbers over two nights in a test event to research the impact of large gatherings on the spread of coronavirus.

The First Dance event will not require any social distancing or face coverings, and it is hoped it will pave the way for more clubs to open across the country.

DJ Yousef Zahar is co-owner of Circus and will be DJing at the event. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the event would be "monumental".

He said: "It's the first time in a long time I've allowed myself to be excited about anything. It's monumental.

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 23: British House DJ and producer Yousef Zaher (DJ Yousef) photographed during a portrait shoot for Future Music Magazine/Future via Getty Images, April 23, 2013. (Photo by Gavin Roberts/Future Music Magazine/Future via Getty Images)
DJ and producer Yousef Zaher (DJ Yousef) will perform at the UK's first nightclub event in more than a year on Friday. (Future Music Magazine/Future via Getty Images)

"Once people are over the threshold it's back to pre-COVID conditions – no masks, no social distancing.

"We're very excited but the serious point is to take the information and try to move towards June 21st."

The event is part of the national Events Research Programme (ERP), which will provide data on how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen as part of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Ticket holders have had to take a lateral flow test 24 hours before the event and will be required to produce a negative result to gain entry.

Liverpool's director of culture, Claire McColgan, told Sky News: "This hasn't been an easy process, and it's particularly hard as the night-time sector hasn't been open for over a year.

Young people dancing and having fun in a large nightclub.
Once inside the club revellers will not be required to wear face coverings or keep their distance from other people (Getty images)

"It will be a different event to what people are used to – from the ticketing process to getting a negative lateral flow test before you're allowed entry.

"But anyone who attends will not only be helping to get clubs up and running in Liverpool, they will be pioneers for the whole country."

Other acts appearing over the weekend include DJs Fatboy Slim and Jayda G.

COVID-19 pilot schemes have already been trialled at the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium, with further trials to take place at the FA Cup final and a screening at the Luna Outdoor Cinema in Liverpool.

Information garnered from the trials will be used to assist the UK government with its plan to remove all social distancing restrictions by 21 June.

Restrictions have slowly begun to ease since March, with schools reopening first, followed by non-essential retail, then hospitality, gyms and theme parks.

Boris Johnson has said he expects the next stage of reopening will proceed as planned on 17 May, with all restrictions hopefully lifted on June 21.

"There's no question that we're starting to get the pandemic really well under control at the moment, but we've got to stick to our cautious approach and go through the steps of the roadmap," he said.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown