British nightclubs are "getting to breaking point" and may open again on June 21 regardless of the country's lockdown rules, it has been reported.
Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown, clubs had been told they would be free to reopen once again no sooner than June 21 – the widely-named 'Freedom Day' on which several other measures are finally set to ease the country fully out of its enforced Covid rules.
Coronavirus has crippled the nightclub industry, with clubs having now been closed for 15 months and a recent report finding UK clubs have been forced to make 51% of their staff redundant since last year.
But a staggering 70% rise in Covid cases in just one week at the start of June has sparked fears 'Freedom Day' could be delayed.
And now, Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), has told City A.M. that a potential delay to reopening for nightclubs has sparked "panic and anxiety" for businesses.
The nightclub industry now says it could mount a legal challenge if the June 21 date is pushed back.
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City A.M. also reports that Kill warned a delay would result in the loss of business and livelihoods, "culminating in further loss of confidence in the sector".
In April thousands of Brits swarmed Liverpool's Bramley Moore Dock warehouse as nightclub Circus threw The First Dance test event to collect key scientific data from the two nights, looking into how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen on June 21 as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.
Club-goers were seen hugging and kissing each other, with some sitting on others' shoulders for a better view of the stage.
Ticketholders had to take a Lateral Flow Test at a community testing site 24 hours before the event and had to produce a negative result in order to gain entry.
Following a weekend of similar test events which also included the Brit Awards and the World Snooker Championship, just 15 people out of 58,000 later tested positive for coronavirus.
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It comes after 25 areas in the UK saw surge testing deployed to detect both the Indian and South African variants.
Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson warned that the Indian variant could be 100% more transmissible than other strains.
Ministers and officials in government are thought to be working on alternative plans to move what has become known as "Freedom Day" to next month, as well as keeping distancing and limits on fans in sports stadiums.
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