Pictures of the night of ‘freedom’ as nightclubs reopen in England for the first time in 16 months

Today marks the day most of the coronavirus restrictions in England have been lifted.

Places like nightclubs, which typically accommodate large numbers of people nearby in an indoor space, have been closed since the start of the pandemic to reduce airborne transmission of the virus.

Now, despite the increase in the number of cases, the government has lifted the restrictions, allowing all sites to legally open with no capacity limits due to the virus.

At midnight on so-called ‘Freedom Day’, revelers made their way to the clubs which were clearly sorely missed, with people lining up for venues. Some said it was like “like New Years” and “missed the buzz” of a night out.

Outside Egg nightclub in north London, clubbers lined up for over an hour and cheered as the clock struck midnight, after a countdown from 10.

One person posted an image on Twitter suggesting she had been in line for nearly three hours to enter a central London nightclub.

And there were similar scenes outside many places:

And this is what it looked like across the country as people returned to nightclubs:

Dancers at The Piano Works in Farringdon, London

(PA)

Man jumps onto dance floor shortly after The Piano Works reopens

(PA)

Revelers dance at the “00:01” event hosted by Egyptian Elbows at Oval Space nightclub, London

(REUTERS)

Chloe Waite, Gabriel Wildsmith and Alex Clarke line up for Egg nightclub in London

(PENNSYLVANIA)

Partygoers wait outside Egg nightclub in London

(PA wire)

Police van outside London as police speak to security

(PA wire)

Clubbers at Fiber Bar in Leeds

(PA wire)

(Left to right) Rosie, Pravin, Millie, Amber and Kiera dance on the streets in Leeds, after the last legal restrictions on coronavirus in England were lifted at midnight

(PA wire)

People dance after midnight at Fiber Bar in Leeds

(Ioannis Alexopoulos / AP)

Clubbers in Pryzm nightclub, Brighton

(Getty Images)

Speaking to Egg, fundraiser Chloe Waite, 37, who was first in line, said the occasion was “something we will long remember.”

“It will be a special night,” she told the PA News Agency. “For me, this is a New Years type event and something that we will remember for a very, very long time and we may not have the opportunity for a while.”

Gabriel Wildsmith, 26, video producer from London, who joined Ms Waite on the front lines, said he had failed to “meet random people” and make new friends. “I’m so excited I’ve been waiting for this for so long… basically since we locked ourselves in,” he said.

The excitement was just as palpable in Leeds, where patrons lined up to enter the Fiber Bar.

“It’s so special,” said bar owner Terry George. “People treat it like a very special occasion, like a New Years Eve type affair. Freedom Eve is what we call it.

“Finally, we will be able to dance. This is the most important thing, which is a little sad really, because we are given something back that is our given right, to be able to dance in a bar, in a club.

Others shared their excitement on Twitter:

But, with the restrictions completely lifted, some revelers admitted they had feelings of “apprehension”, although others said there was “none” to fear.

Actor Alex Clarke, 40, said: “There is a bit of trepidation and uncertainty around the protocols. But as long as everyone’s sane, you’ll be fine. “

Kevin Ally, 45, who works in professional services, said: “I think we’re over-analyzing it, it’s going to be awesome. There is nothing to worry about. The only concern is why we haven’t been here for a year and a half. We haven’t been out for a very long time.

On social media, others were clearly worried about what these events might do to the already growing number of coronaviruses.

Twitter user @natachakennedy posted an image of people lining up at a nightclub in London and called it a “superspreader” event.

However, journalist Lewis Goodall had this point to make:

With a similar sentiment expressed here:

Elsewhere, theaters and restaurants may reopen completely, while pubs are no longer limited to table service only.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in stores and on public transport, assembly limits have disappeared, and home guiding work has been completed.

However, with new cases of the virus having already passed the 50,000 mark per day, some scientists have expressed concern that restrictions will end as the Delta variant spreads so rapidly.

Professor Neil Ferguson – whose modeling led to the first lockdown in March 2020 – said they could reach 200,000 before the current wave of the pandemic finally peaks.

He said this could lead to 2,000 hospitalizations a day, resulting in “major disruption” and further backlogs in NHS services.

Meanwhile, companies have warned of shortages on the shelves as the number of people on work stoppage after being lashed out by the NHS Covid app continues to rise.

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