Portsmouth nightclubs Astoria and Pryzm going ahead with first club nights on 12.01am on July 19 without Covid passports

NIGHTCLUBS Astoria and Pryzm will go ahead with events due to begin the minute restrictions are lifted next week – and Covid vaccine passports will not be required.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 2:27 pm
The Astoria night club in Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (180443-1)
The Astoria night club in Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180443-1)

The nightclubs in the city centre will open their first club nights without Covid-19 restrictions at 12.01am on July 19.

It comes amid rising case numbers and increasing concerns among politicians and health professionals at the prospect of the government’s ‘freedom day’, when social distancing, mask wearing, and other measures will no longer be compulsory.

Government guidance is encouraging nightclubs to request Covid-19 vaccine passports, but these measures are not mandatory.

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Pryzm nightclub, Stanhope Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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Nightclub chain Pryzm will be open ‘at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative Covid test’ according to the Peter Marks, the firm’s chief executive.

Speaking to the Press Association, he added: ‘We're able to open in this way because nightclubs in particular are among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector, and indeed were even prior to the pandemic, for the exact safety measures that are required to reduce the spread of the virus.’

Astoria owner Alistair Ritchie has said that tickets for the club’s Monday event are ‘flying out’ with more than 600 sold – and ticket holders can be assured that event will go ahead.

The businessman said: ‘Obviously the difficult thing is that our clientele is the younger section of society that haven’t had the opportunity to have two jabs two weeks ago.

‘We are welcoming people to wear a mask and we are welcoming staff to continue to wear a mask. It’s up to them if they do.

‘We anticipate that some people, but in reality most people will be happy to lose restrictions.’

‘We have pretty much sold out for the Sunday night, but not quite yet for the Monday.’

Tickets are available for sit-down service at sister venue, Mr Miyagi's bar, on the Sunday night, and separate tickets for the Monday event at Astoria.

Clubbers can expect a variety of fire breathing performances – and a garden terrace refurbished to become a new dance space.

Alistair said: ‘We’ve got loads of performers coming in, a couple of fire breathers – it will be a big production.

‘And we have got an additional disco room. Our garden has been a great success from when we opened as a pub with a beer garden. That’s been really popular as a sit-down area.

‘But we’ve now converted that into another club room – called the disco terrace.’

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