Have Nightclubs Opened Too Early?

Christine O'Mahony

March 2020 was the last time people attended nightclubs before the reopening on the 22nd of October 2021.


While nightclubs were closed, students in particular resorted to house parties, ‘illegal raves’, day drinking during the summer with take away pints and trips to the pub when they opened up.

Some students found themselves expelled or suspended from their colleges for holding house parties during the pandemic. It is clear that night outs in nightclubs were sorely missed.

When nightclubs reopened on the 22nd of October, the media jumped on the opportunity to film the long queu outside Coppers Nightclub on Harcourt Street, Dublin. The queu seemed never ending.

On the one hand one may feel happy that nightlife is back and it’s one step closer to normality, but on the other hand, one may feel worried that Covid-19 cases will rise and we will be sent back into a lockdown with all our freedoms taken away again.

Yesterday over 3,000 cases were recorded, a good chunk of the population is vaccinated, so this is worrying. Vaccines don’t give automatic immunity; it just helps people to recover better if they are unfortunate enough to catch Covid. We still need to be careful.

As a nightclub goer myself, I know what I am like. When I am sober, I wear my mask and maintain social distancing, but give me two or three shots of vodka and unfortunately, I will forget social distancing rules.

Nightclubs aren’t really spacious, so it is hard to maintain social distancing. Expecting people to wear their masks while they go to the bar or toilets, is going to be difficult when people are drunk and it is quite possible that they will lose their masks in the club, the same way phones, debit cards and ID get lost all the time.

No nightclub will have enough security staff to make sure everyone is wearing their masks. It is impossible to police.

I think the idea that one must provide a ticket to enter a nightclub is a good proposal, as it reduces the numbers of those attending, so they don’t end up like Coppers on reopening night. However, some nightclubs are providing yearly tickets for everyone, which defeats the purpose.

I believe we reopened too fast; nightclubs should not have opened when daily case numbers are between 2000-3000. I don’t want to be a party pooper, but this is a disaster waiting to happen.

There is no ventilation at nightclubs, we have all bumped into the sweaty walls at some stage. I believe we should wait until cases are down to the 100s at least, or until everyone has a booster shot. Hospitals cannot cope.

Christine O’Mahonny