Government Minister Says Clubs May Take "A Long Time To Come Back" After COVID-19

Government Minister Says Clubs May Take "A Long Time To Come Back" After COVID-19

October 01, 2020

In a recent interview with Sky News, apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan delivered a fatal blow to workers in the events industry when asked about life post-lockdown, saying that jobs that "don't fit" with COVID-19 may take "a long time to come back".

Speaking with Sky News presenter Kay Burley, Keegan said "it's difficult to see how you can have a nightclub operating with coronavirus," raising questions as to the likelihood of a return to clubbing in the near future.

As COVID-19 tightens its grip on the world, fears continue to grow for the future of UK nightlife. When questioned about clubs remaining closed until there's a vaccine, Keegan added, "How can you socially distance and have a good time in a nightclub?" Keegan further suggests re-opening clubs would result in mass spreading of the virus since it's "difficult to see how you could keep the coronavirus under control indoors".

The nightclub industry has taken a significant hit during COVID-19, and this looks set to continue with not only jobs being hit, but also the culture itself. As Burley pointed out, the nightclub industry is worth "£66 billion to the economy", so its importance should not be ignored. When questioned about jobs within the nightclub industry, Keegan said: "We cannot, alas, save every job. What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs."

Listeners will not take much comfort from this, as for many there appears to be no confidence in government efforts to save the nightclub industry. Furthermore, for many, working in the nightclub industry is vocational, thus being told to "take different routes in life" is a haphazard approach and fails to appreciate the millions of lives affected.

Words: Ian Opolot
Photography: Fabric