Nightclubs appeal to government to ease social distancing restrictions ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Nightclub owners are appealing to the government to ease capacity restrictions implemented following the coronavirus outbreak. They want to fully reopen at the end of the month.

The appeal was sent to the government on July 20 and was signed by Öökultuuri MTÜ, Hall, Club Hollywood, Studio, Venus, Teater, Maasikas, Seif, Vabank Tartu, Helitehas and Sunset

Currently, nightclubs are allowed to admit a maximum of 100 people at a time.

"There is an important difference between having a party with 200 people in a place that can accommodate a few hundred visitors or a place that can accommodate a four-digit number," the letter said.

Recently some institutions have changed their concept to use loopholes to get around the restrictions, which is possible as there is no solid definition of a nightclub. The authors of the letter stated that despite these possibilities, they do not want to start twisting laws.

Rauno Otsepp, a member of the board of the Hollywood nightclub, told ERR people's nightlife behavior is the same regardless of the name of the institution. Therefore, according to him, it is incomprehensible why nightclubs are distinguished from other entertainment establishments where restrictions have been lifted.

He said the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has already responded to the request and expressed support for the idea. According to Otsepa, the situation will be reassessed by the ministry on July 30.

Nightclub owners are expecting guidance from the government which is rational, he said. Otsepa confirmed they understood the importance of ensuring a 50 percent occupancy rate but that the number of visitors should be raised from 100 to 500. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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