'Excitement' as patrons and sector celebrate nightclubs fully reopening
Nightlife associations warn it will be “very difficult” to ensure everyone complies with face mask requirements
There was joy and excitement on the dancefloors of Barcelona on the first night that nightclubs were able to fully reopen until 5 am since the pandemic began.
“It’s great news that we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” Ramon Mas, general secretary of the Nightclubs Association, told the Catalan News Agency.
After the Catalan government announced the return of the sector earlier in the week, the opening was officially approved on Thursday by the courts.
Patrons looking to enter must present a Covid passport proving they have been fully vaccinated, or else that they’ve recovered from the virus in the past six months, or they have tested negatively for Covid-19.
These Covid passports are something that nightclubs say they will be “very strict” on, not allowing anybody to enter without them, but they also warn that ensuring that everybody complies with the obligation to wear face masks inside will be “very difficult.”
He assured that nightclubs will not create “security issues” regarding masks or "pressurize" people into wearing them, before also reminding that establishments are obliged to inform customers through posters of the importance of this measure.
Ramon Mas said that around 80-90% of clubs opened their doors on the first night they were able to and that most will be “sold out” over the next few days.
"The pace of ticket sales is going very well and I think all the clubs will be sold out," Mas said. The union's secretary general acknowledges that the reopening will be "a bit chaotic" in the first week, but is confident the sector will adapt "quickly" and be ready for both next weekend and a highly-anticipated Halloween.
One of the people enjoying the first night of clubs opening is Leire Gómez, who enjoyed a night out over the age of 18 for the first time.
"We are very excited,” she said to the Catalan News Agency. “We have a reservation for everyone and we are going to dance and have fun."
She and all of her friends are fully vaccinated and used the Covid passport to access Pacha.
Denis Costa, 19, believes face masks will not be complied with "at all".
“I’ve been to other nightclubs in the summer and everyone takes it off,” he explained. He explained he was "very happy" to be able to go to nightclubs until 5 in the morning as "until now I went to places with a lot of people, the music wasn't very loud, there were problems, it got pretty messy, people fought…”
Clubs won’t become “dance police”
Carmen Zapata, manager of the Association of Concert Halls of Catalonia (ASACC), explained to the Catalan News Agency that nightclubs cannot become “the dance police” to enforce face mask wearing.
In the same vein, Lluís Torrent, co-director of Razzmatazz, has warned that the measure of wearing a mask is impossible to comply with.
"We will not be able to enforce the mask inside the room because it is evidence that everyone sees."
He went on to explain that they will put up posters, but added that "they cannot act as police officers or create a public order problem and expel someone who does not want to put on the mask."