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Clubs Begin To Reopen Across Europe After Omicron Closures
Christian Eede , February 16th, 2022 13:40

Venues in the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium have been given the green light to start operating again in the coming weeks

Clubs in a number of European nations have begun reopening following a wave of lockdowns triggered by the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Clubs and other music venues in Italy have been open as of last weekend, having originally been forced to close again in late December. Capacity limits of 50 percent for indoor venues and 75 percent for outdoor venues are in place for now, while proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or recent recovery from the virus is required for entry. Masks must be worn in all indoor public places in Italy, including in nightclubs, save for when on the dancefloor.

In Belgium, clubs can begin reopening again from February 19. All coronavirus measures relating to venues will be relaxed, meaning there will be no capacity restrictions in place. Bars and restaurants can also resume normal operating hours and end capacity limits from the same day. The announcement came as a number of venues in Belgium were gearing up to open anyway on February 18 to protest a perceived lack of support for the nightlife industry from the Belgian government amid the latest lockdown.

Almost all COVID-19 restrictions will also be lifted in the Netherlands from February 25, meaning clubs can finally reopen after months of curfews and forced closures dating back to November. Festivals will also be permitted in the country from that date. The only measures that will remain in place are testing for entry into indoor events with a capacity of over 500 people, and face masks on public transport. Indoor events with a capacity of under 500 people will be allowed to operate from this Friday (February 18), but a curfew of 1am will be in place until measures are further relaxed a week later.

In the Catalonia region of Spain, clubs fully reopened on February 11 after being forced to shut in December. Capacity limits have been removed, and proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry. From February 28, in France, people will no longer be required to wear masks in indoor venues, including bars and restaurants. Proof of vaccination is still needed to enter these spaces, however.

Progress is also being made in Germany, where a three-step relaxation of COVID-19 measures is planned for the coming weeks. National and state leaders are meeting this week to discuss the plan to drop restrictions, and it's expected that from March 4, clubs will be allowed to reopen again. Access to restaurants would also be open to unvaccinated people if they can show a negative test.