Two Ipswich nightclubs delay reopening after positive Covid tests
- Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant
Some Ipswich nightclubs have been forced to delay their reopening on so-called "freedom day" - after members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.
However, others are opening fully from tonight, as the vast majority of Covid restrictions are lifted under the government's lockdown roadmap.
Many nightspots had already partly reopened as socially-distanced bars under earlier stages of the lockdown relaxation - but customers were not able to dance or drink at the bar.
That has now all changed as rules are relaxed, with some nightclubs open at midnight nationally to mark July 19.
However The Club Ipswich, on The Cornhill, will be closed until Friday, July 23 after announcing on July 13 via Facebook that a staff member had tested positive for Covid.
Eden Bar & Club, in Coachman's Court - formerly Sin Bar - also announced on Thursday that it was closing over the weekend due to a positive case within its staff team.
Once it can reopen, The Club is is planning a "Raucus: Back to The Club" event for Friday with two rooms of drum and bass. Tickets are currently on sale, with customers advised to book early.
Leyla Edwards, who owns the venue together with Robin Dicker, said: "One staff member tested positive and had symptoms. He was quite poorly for a couple of days but is now a lot better. Two other staff members also tested positive but have not had any symptoms."
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She said the staff concerned had been self-isolating and all the team had been taking daily lateral flow tests. The club has also had two deep cleans.
Ms Edwards said she was looking forward to reopening on Friday, but added The Club would be keeping various safety measures in place going forward to protect customers and staff.
She said: "I am glad to be reopening. People need something to relieve their stress and need to be able to go out."
She said they would be maintaining some of their previous rules, including staff continuing to wear face coverings during service, offering table service where preferred and reserving the right to stop the dance area becoming overcrowded.
Ms Edwards said they were getting good feedback from customers who were reassured to hear of the Covid-19 safety measures in place.
The Club reopened as a socially distanced bar a few weeks ago after the most recent lockdown. She said: "People are very pleased with what we are doing. We have got to look out for safety.
Eden Bar & Club said on its Facebook page: "We regret to inform you we will be closed this weekend due to a positive case of Covid-19 within our staff team.
"We hold the safety of our team and our customers very closely to our hearts, this is why we have made the decision to close."
It said a deep clean of the venue was being carried out on Thursday and added: "We will be open again as soon as it is safe to do so for our staff and customers."
Meanwhile, other venues are planning celebrations tonight - with clubbers being warned they are likely to sell out in advance.
Unit 17, at Cardinal Park in Ipswich, is planning a Straight Outta Lockdown event tonight, and said on Facebook that its opening week of events is almost sold out.
The venue posted on Facebook yesterday: "One day to go until we are back! #FreedomDay no social distancing.. no track & trace… no masks.. nothing but dancefloors."
Revolution Ipswich, in the Old Cattle Market, is planning a week of club nights - starting tonight with Ipswich Unlocked, which it describes as "Ipswich's biggest reopening party".
The event will include confetti, balloons and inflatables to add to the party atmosphere. It says all its events this week are expected to sell out in advance.
In Bury St Edmunds, Flex Nightclub said on Facebook it was due to be open tonight from 8pm, with dancing now allowed, and would be continuing with track and trace check-ins on entry.
A spokesman for Karooze Limited, which runs clubs including Flex , Karooze, So Bar and The Gym Sports Bar, said they would still be carrying out safety measures going forward, such as taking customer details, carrying out temperature checks and offering table service.