Ever since the UK government announced its road map out of lockdown last month, June 21 has been the date on everyone’s lips as the day when we’ll all be able to enjoy nightlife once again. However, clubbers in the city of Liverpool have been told that under a new pilot scheme, they may be able to hit the dancefloor as early as April 12.

The new plans—which will be overseen by the Events Research Programme (ERP)—are being tentatively pieced together as part of the government’s plans for reopening major events later this year. The results of this pilot will dictate whether or not the rest of the government’s ‘road map’ will go ahead as planned. But this doesn’t mean the whole of Merseyside is open for business.

The pilot scheme will see only a handful of small and large-scale events—a nightclub, comedy club and business events venue—opened to the public under strict medical supervision. Social distancing will not be enforced at these events, but face masks/coverings will be mandatory and people will be required to prove they have a negative test ahead of the event. They will also be tested afterwards to track and monitor any transmission of the virus.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet. These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering.”

Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture and Tourism in Liverpool, said: “Liverpool is an event city. They are a critical part of our economy, culture and community and so we are delighted to be working with partners across Government, our colleagues at University of Liverpool and a number of local venues and promoters to plan this series of pilot events. Our experience as the pilot city for mass testing means we have the knowledge and infrastructure in place to deliver complicated projects safely, and we really hope we can help provide the evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months.”