CITY venues have welcomed the news they will be able to go back to normal after the final Covid restrictions are lifted on July 19.

Boris Johnson revealed on Monday that should step four of unlocking the country proceed in two weeks’ time, almost all Covid regulations, including wearing face masks, social distancing rules and capacity limits on large events, would be removed.

He also said that all businesses, including nightclubs, will be able to re-open, and events such as concerts, festivals and crowds at sports matches could resume. It will be confirmed next Monday whether the lifting of the final set of Covid restrictions will go-ahead.

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Venues in Oxford are excited to welcome customers back after more than a year of either being closed or restricted by capacity limits and no dancing rules, with some - including the Varsity Club in Oxford High Street - holding special 'return to the dance floor' events on July 19.

Oxford Mail: DJ. Pic: Pixabay

Paul Williams, at The Bullingdon on Cowley Road, said: "We're opening at one minute past midnight on July 19 and we've then got two weeks of events - most of which are sold out already. We've announced that on Saturday the 24th, we're doing an all-dayer from 3pm to 3am in celebration of all Oxford music. We've got a huge line-up that I'm going to keep on adding more people to.

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"We'll follow the Government guidelines and go back to normal. The biggest message we want to put out is that people can still be nervous so everyone should be looking out for each other and everyone will be very excited. 

Mr Williams is also urging people to respect staff who have been out of work for such a long time.

'Tip your bartender'

He added: "Everyone just has to be patient with the security and bar staff because these people haven't worked for the past 18 months and a lot of them will be brand new and they're kind of being thrown in the deep end.

So tip your bartender and tip your security, that's the message we're putting out.

"At one minute past midnight everyone's going to be partying. A lot of people working in hospitality are going to enjoy it but they're going to be working, so everyone's going to appreciate these people a lot more."

Other Oxford venues are also looking forward to seeing the dance floor come to life again.

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A spokesperson for Stonegate Group, which runs a number of pubs, bars and nightclubs in Oxfordshire, said: “We welcome the Prime Minister's positive announcement whilst we await confirmation that 19th July will enable all our businesses to reopen and welcome our customers back. 

“We particularly look forward to reopening our late-night venues, which have been closed for the past 16 months, and to seeing our teams re-energise the clubs and bars as our customers celebrate, meet groups of friends and get back on our dance-floors."

Will you go to a nightclub once restrctions are lifted?