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More than 25% of people would like to see nightclubs closed permanently

By | Published on Monday 12 July 2021


You may be itching to get back into a nightclub once England’s pandemic restrictions are lifted next week. Not everyone is keen to join you though. New polling shows that 45% of Brits think the doors of the country’s nightclubs should remain closed for another month. Caution is to be expected, I suppose. Although the survey also found that 26% of people think that nightclubs should never reopen, even if COVID-19 is completely eradicated. So maybe we should just stop surveying killjoys.

The research by Ipsos MORI aims to gauge public feeling about the lifting of almost all the remaining COVID restrictions in England next Monday.

The UK government is gleefully doing just that, despite another surge in coronavirus cases. Of course, the entertainment industry is desperate to reopen all of its venues at full capacity as soon as possible, after nearly eighteen months without any real income. However, this study reckons that neither the government nor the live sector are backed by public opinion at large on this issue.

Around 66% of people felt that social distancing in pubs, theatres and sports grounds should remain in place for at least another month, with 59% of those polled reckoning such distancing should remain the rule until COVID-19 is fully under control globally, which could take years. And about 34% reckon social distancing rules should never be relaxed in such venues. Never ever.

When it comes to nightclubs and casinos, 46% said that they’d be comfortable with these staying closed until August, with 43% reckoning that there should be no clubbing or gambling until the pandemic is under control worldwide. And then there’s that 26% of people who think that, actually, it would be better if we just forgot about that type of establishment altogether.

Of course, more than 26% of the British population never go clubbing anyway. And while stats from the night-time sector usually demonstrate that clubs and such like are important drivers of local economies, there are those (perhaps more than you thought, if this study is to be believed) who reckon that all these places really enable is crime and anti-social behaviour.

Given that finding, at least some of the stats in this study are likely highlighting opinions that existed before, and have little to do with the pandemic.

Although, overall, the study does possibly also show that there is a relatively high level of anxiety about COVID restrictions being removed after such a long time of being bound by them. Rather than being desperate to get out and do whatever they want whenever they want, many would seem to be feeling more cautious. And, unless those people are horrendous hypocrites, they were presumably very concerned indeed about the crowds of football fans who were stomping around London this weekend.

Sufficiently cautious are some of the people surveyed, in fact, that 19% of respondents would be willing to accept a 10pm curfew, not just until the pandemic is under control but permanently. Though maybe that’s another stat that tells us more about those people’s views pre-COVID.

And it’s possibly worth noting that another Ipsos MORI study asking a different set of questions about how comfortable people are with the lifting of COVID restrictions next week shows a more positive reaction to the impending move back to normality. That poll shows that 42% of people feel completely comfortable with the idea of going to a large gathering such as a music festival.

So maybe Brits aren’t all nailing their doors shut in preparation for next week’s big reopening after all. Though the killjoys are probably still busy preparing to kill some joy.