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Revellers dance the night away as nightclubs reopen on Freedom Day

Clubbers have enjoyed their first night out since March 2020 (Picture: Getty Images/PA/North News)

Excited revellers were more than ready for a party as nightclubs flung open doors at midnight on Freedom Day.

Lockdown weary clubbers hugged, cheered and threw beer in the air as England waved goodbye to nearly 16 months of heavy Covid restrictions.

Some described the reopening as ‘like New Year’ as they packed into venues like Fabric in London and Pryzm in Bristol – with no social distancing in sight.

But old frustrations were quick to return as others admitted they hadn’t missed long queues and sore feet.

Fundraiser Chloe Waite, 37, who was first in the queue at Egg in the capital, said the occasion was ‘something we’re going to remember for a long time’.

She said: ‘It’s going to be a special night. For me this is a New Year’s-type event and something we’re going to remember for a long, long time and we might not get the opportunity for a while.’

Gabriel Wildsmith, 26, a video producer from London, said he had ‘been waiting for this for so long’.

He added: ‘I love going to clubs and I love meeting random people. You make great friends and you couldn’t do that until tonight. I’ve been here for an hour, I’m really keen.’

Dated: 19/07/2021 Revellers get back on the dancefloor at Powerhouse nightclub in Newcastle at the stroke of midnight, wasting no time to enjoy their first taste of clubbing since last March as Freedom Day arrives with the relaxation of existing coronavirus safety measures. See story and VIDEO by North News

Partygoers looked like they hadn’t spent a day away as they danced at Powerhouse nightclub in Newcastle (Picture: North News & Pictures northn)
Confetti flew through the air as clubbers celebrated Freedom Day (Picture: North News & Pictures northn)
People were excited as they queued for Bar Fibre in Leeds (Picture: PA)
There was no social distancing in sight as clubbers waited for Pryzm to open in Brighton, England (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

Another partygoer, who gave her name as Dolores Frankenstein, admitted it would be ‘a bit overwhelming to be around so many people again’.

She added that she was ‘open-minded’ but ‘a bit bored of queuing already’.

Actor Alex Clarke, 40, said: ‘There’s a bit of apprehension and uncertainty about the protocols. 

‘But as long as everyone is sensible then it’ll be alright.’

It comes as Boris Johnson is accused of being ‘reckless’ by lifting almost all remaining restrictions in one go.

Global health experts have warned the decision is a danger to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused the PM of ‘essentially putting the whole nation into a car, pressing the accelerator and taking the seatbelt off’.

The prime minister will spend Freedom Day isolating after he was pinged by NHS Test and Trace following contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid who tested positive.

He defended the move in a video message on Sunday saying ‘if we don’t do it now, we have to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it?’

Dated: 19/07/2021 Revellers get back on the dancefloor at Powerhouse nightclub in Newcastle at the stroke of midnight, wasting no time to enjoy their first taste of clubbing since last March as Freedom Day arrives with the relaxation of existing coronavirus safety measures. See story and VIDEO by North News

Revellers get back on the dancefloor at Powerhouse nightclub in Newcastle (Picture: North News & Pictures northn)
The reopening comes after 16 months of Covid restrictions (Picture: Getty Images)
Two people hug in the middle of the dancefloor at Egg London nightclub in the early hours of the morning (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

He continued: ’But we’ve got to do it cautiously. We’ve got to remember that this virus is sadly still out there. Cases are rising, we can see the extreme contagiousness of the Delta variant.

‘But we have this immense consolation and satisfaction that there is no doubt at all that the vaccine programme – the massive vaccination programme – has very severely weakened the link between infection and hospitalisation, and between infection and serious illness and death.

‘So please, please, please be cautious and go forward tomorrow into the next step with all the right prudence and respect for other people and the risks that the disease continues to present.’

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