Revellers enjoy last night of ‘freedom’ before Covid passes are needed at clubs


Revellers have been hitting bars and nightclubs and having festive fun in fancy dress as they enjoy the final day of “freedom” before new Covid restrictions come in on Wednesday

Hundreds of people headed to a nightclub in Portsmouth on Tuesday night
Hundreds of people headed to a nightclub in Portsmouth on Tuesday night

Party-goers dressed up as Father Christmases and other festive figures were in high spirits as they headed to crowded bars and nightclubs around the country to celebrate the last day of “freedom” before Covid passes are enforced.

With many people in festive spirits they have been heading out to parties and drinks with friends before new restrictions are introduced in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

In Portsmouth hundreds of people flocked to a themed night at the Astoria nightclub.

People could be seen dressed up in their Christmas gear with plenty of Father Christmases and some snowmen on show.

And it was not just Tuesday night as last weekend thousands were out in towns and cities for festive fun.

Crowds flocked to Mr Miyagi’s Bar, part of the Astoria Nightclub complex
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Image:

Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com)

Little regard was taken for the highly contagious new Covid variant which is forcing the new rules from Wednesday.

People will need to show that they have had two vaccine doses or a negative test in order to go into nightclubs and some other venues.

The government has said that lateral flow tests should be used by people entering “high-risk settings like crowded places.

Many opted for a festive theme
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Image:

Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com)

Nightclub owners have hit out at the new restrictions saying that a lack of rapid COVID-19 tests will make enforcement a “big challenge”.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his “Plan B” measures to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant.

The UK has registered almost 4,500 cases of Omicron, with 10 people hospitalised and one person dying after contracting the variant.

People in the the queue for the Astoria nightclub
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Image:

Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com)

New rules were passed in Parliament on Tuesday though 99 members of Johnson’s own party voted against them.

Kate Fuller, who owns the Electric Ballroom nightclub in Camden in north London said the lack of available rapid testing is a problem for her.

“Since the announcement of the restrictions, our business just took a massive downturn,” she said.

The Astoria nightclub had a ‘Dirty Disco’ theme
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Image:

Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com)

“There’s no testing in a lot of the pharmacies. If you can’t get the tests, it’s going to be really hard for people to come.

“I think for our security and everything, implementing these is just going to be, you know, a big challenge.”

The new rules will apply to unseated indoor events with 500 people or more, unseated outdoor events with over 4,000 people and events with more than 10,000 attendees.

Revellers will need a Covid pass from Wednesday
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Image:

Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com)

Clara Cullen, venue support manager at charity Music Venue Trust, which supports around 900 music venues in the country, said there had been an increase in cancellations with income falling by 27% in the past week.

“There will be financial implications to trying to implement the Plan B,” said Cullen.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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