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Everything you need to know about nightclubs reopening today and ‘vertical drinking’

Nightclubs have officially reopened.
Nightclubs have officially reopened.

It has been a long 17 months or so since nightclubs have been open, but finally the day has come for late night dancing and karaoke to commence as major nightlife reopens.

This morning at 0.01am, clubs up and down the region were allowed to open their doors to the public for the first time in 507 days, with some opening for a few hours to test the waters for what is lined-up to be a busy first full weekend open later this week.

Last Tuesday the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that no venues would be legally required to close from today (August 9) as Scotland moves “beyond level 0”.

Nightclubs have been closed since March 20, 2020 when they were forced to shut their doors like many other businesses up and down the country.

Inside a nightclub pre-Covid-19 pandemic.

But the main question on everyone’s lips now with the venues reopening is, can they dance without a mask? And what does the new way of clubbing look like after Covid?

We’ve rounded up the questions everyone wants the answers to, in order to ensure that you know exactly what the situation is for your next, or first club visit in nearly a year and a half.

Music is also permitted in hospitality settings again meaning karaoke and live music is back!

Do I have to socially distance from others?

All rules on physical distancing have now been lifted across all venues.

Customers do not need to physically distance themselves from others as a result.

Will I have to wear a mask on the dancefloor?

Face coverings will be mandatory in some venues, including schools and public places, but customers will just have to wear masks when they approach the bar in nightclubs.

If customers are dancing, drinking or seated they do not need to wear a mask.

It is a legal requirement to wear them when entering, exiting, going to the toilet and moving around the venue if you are not dancing.

Customers do not have to wear face masks when drinking, dancing, eating or sitting at their table.

All staff must wear face masks.

There is an exemption for those staff who are more than one metre away from the public or colleges or those who are behind a suitable partition.

Is Track and Trace still in place?

Track and Trace will still be required as per guidance for all hospitality venues.

All establishments will require customers to complete Track and Trace to collect their details when visiting their venues in line with government requirements.

What is ‘vertical drinking’ and does it affect me?

Vertical drinking is what drinking at the bar of a venue is referred to as.

The Scottish Government has confirmed that drinking at the bar would be allowed in venues, so many businesses have reintroduced seating at their bars, and customers in nightclubs will be able to approach the bar to purchase a drink.

Will I need a Covid vaccine passport to get in?

While the Scottish Government announced plans of an app currently being designed to help access Covid status certificates, including vaccination details for travel, those looking to head to clubs and other late night venues will not be required to have any form of certification with them.

The app is purely designed for travel at the moment and is said to be launching next month.

The First Minister said last week: “I can also confirm that we continue to consider very carefully the possible, albeit limited, use of Covid status certification for access to certain higher risk venues in future.

Staff have to wear face masks in venues.

“We are currently developing an app to make access to Covid status certificates – which will include vaccination details – easier for international travel.

“This will be launched next month.

“The app will have functionality to support the use of such certificates for domestic settings should we decide that this is appropriate.”

However, people must be aged 18 or over to enter any nightclub and have valid ID (a driver’s licence or passport) to gain entry.

How do I drink when I have a mask on?

You don’t need to worry about keeping your mask on when drinking in a nightclub or late night venue, however you must wear your mask when approaching the bar.

What time can clubs stay open until?

This is dependent on the local authorities licensing hours so it is best to check directly with each venue you visit what time they are open until.

Most venues will advertise this on their Facebook page.

For more on nightclubs reopening…