Things can only get better, the popular song sings. Sadly, they must get a little bit more painful first. Venues all over Europe are reintroducing stricter rules or door closures altogether, following the Omicron variant discovery.
Republic of Ireland
December 3rd: Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that clubs—which only reopened in October—will shut from December 7th through January 9th. Businesses affected by the closure will be financially supported.
The situation changes at a high frequency.
In states where COVID cases are high – venues must shut. The cut-off point is having at least one city or district with a rate of 350 new infections per 100,000 people per seven-day incidence. Berlin has a rate of 361 and has banned dancing in venues indefinitely from December 8th.
Bavaria has already started a total 3-week shutdown, with all clubs closed until, at least, mid-December.
All clubs are currently closed.
The initial post 5 PM closure period from November 13th to December 5th was revised and an extra three-week closure period was enforced with a 5 PM curfew on hospitality and cultural venues remaining. The earliest reopening will be December 18th.
Open for less than two months, clubs in Belgium have been ordered to close once more. There has been no timeframe placed on these closures. November 22nd saw the country’s infection rate become the highest figure to date.
In Portugal, where new restrictions came into force at midnight on December 1st, clubs aren’t closing for the time being, but all attendees will have to present a negative test even if they’re fully vaccinated. In comparison to the rest of Europe, Portugal’s Covid-19 rates—cases, hospitalisations, deaths—remain low, and their vaccination rate is one of the highest at 86.6 per cent fully vaccinated.
After record-high infections, the Czech Republic entered a 30-day ‘state of emergency’. From November 26th, all nightclubs, casinos and restaurants must close by 10 PM.
Austria was the first European country to lock down in the face of Covid-19’s fourth wave. The lockdown, which began on November 22nd, has been extended to December 11th. Clubs remain closed.
Clubs remain open. Valid COVID-19 passes must be shown to gain entry.
Clubs remain open.
The re-introduction of mask-wearing in shops and on public transport has come into effect and will only be removed once the new variant data has been analysed. New arrivals to the UK must take a PCR test even if fully vaccinated. Everyone also has to quarantine until they have received a negative result.
The latter ruling, which came into effect on November 30th, initially sent fear through the club community as promoters anxiously waited to see if performing artists were exempt. They are, for the time being.