Southsea over-25s bar Kingsley's reopens its dance floor as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted
POPULAR Southsea venue Kingsley’s has seen its first night of dancing in more than 18 months as it welcomed back punters for the first Friday night since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
The government lifted all mandatory Covid-19 restrictions such as social distancing and mask wearing on Monday, meaning an end to rules that have left dance-floors across the city empty for more than a year.
Now Kingsley’s dance floor is once again free for punters to cut loose and celebrate the return of relative normality last night.
Eager regulars Collette Webster, 46, and Lisa Hammond, 44, were among the first through the doors of the over-25s only bar.
Collette said: ‘We are loyal to this club. I’ve missed (the manager) Mary so much. We were here at 7.45pm – we wanted to be the first two in. I am so looking forward to having a dance – and it gets me away from the kids.’
Manager Mary Foskett said it was ‘absolutely brilliant’ to see the dance floor packed with happy punters.
Mary said: ‘I’m so excited. There have been so many people in there.
‘You can’t beat the regulars, but there are a lot of new faces. People just want to dance.’
With rising case numbers across the country, the bar manager said she is ready to put in place a Covid-19 passport scheme if needed and would do ‘absolutely anything’ to stay open.
She added: ‘You cannot predict absolutely anything at the moment. Fingers crossed this is it and things can only get better.’
A Covid-19 case among staff at restaurant Carter And Co, also owned by Steve Kingsley, shut the venue on Fathers Day in June as staff had to self-isolate.
With more than 600,000 people told to self-isolate last week, the club owner said its time for the government to review the rules.
Mr Kingsley said: ‘They need to change the rules. They clearly didn’t give it too much thought.’
‘It’s so nice to be open again and seeing people dancing and enjoying themselves.
‘I think everyone needs a bit of luck, let’s hope for that.
‘The hardest thing has been seeing the bar empty and not buzzing how it should be.’
Pryzm and The Astoria nightclubs opened their doors at 12.01am last Monday as restrictions were lifted, drawing huge crowds to enjoy the return of dancing in the city.