In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, governments and health organisations are planning to gradually restart venues, nightclubs and music festivals, with new social distancing measures and state-by-state safety restrictions.

And even though a complete return of the nightlife reopenings may only be allowed with the existence of a vaccine, various countries, like Germany and Spain, have laid out guidelines for clubs and live music along with rest of economy.

With one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, Italy is now beginning to breath a bit of fresh air of freedom. Bars and restaurants reopened last Monday, 18th May with restrictions around table spacing and masks required for patrons.

Lockdown in Italy, phase 2: bars and restaurants reopened on May 18th.

By June 15th, live music events of up to 200 people indoors and 1,000 people outdoors can return, as long as attendees have an assigned one-meter-apart seat, while there’s still no news for nightclubs in the Council Of Ministers’ new decree.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced Spain will reopen to overseas tourists from July. On May 11th, outdoor terraces of restaurants and bars reopened at 50 percent capacity, while seated open-air events can host up to 200 people.

In Germany, clubs, theaters and cultural sites will be closed until July 31st, while events drawing 5,000 people or more are banned until October 24th.

However, some Berlin clubs and bars, including Sisyphos, reopened last Friday, May 15th, There will be music but strict no-dancing rules, with most of the bars to close around 10 PM.

Sisyphos, Berlin [QIEZ – ©QIEZ]
On May 11th, the UK Home Office shared the 60-page document called Our Plan To Rebuild. According to the doc, pubs and restaurants are planned to reopen on July 4th, while nightclubs are only mentioned once: “While reopening outdoor spaces and activities (subject to continued social distancing) comes earlier in the roadmap because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, it is likely that reopening indoor public spaces and leisure facilities (such as gyms and cinemas), premises whose core purpose is social interaction (such as nightclubs), venues that attract large crowds (like sports stadia), and personal care establishments where close contact is inherent (like beauty salons) may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.

As the US now has the highest coronavirus-related death toll in the world, nightclubs and bars in cities like New York and Los Angeles are likely being among the last businesses to open.

In Netherlands mass events at national level will be possible only when a vaccine is available.

Venues and bars in China have cautiously reopened their doors, while South Korea has seen another nightlife shutdown due to a recent spike of COVID-19 infections in the country.

People wearing face masks at a nightclub in Shanghai [Aly Song/Reuters]
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