A Government minister spelt out the doom facing the nightclub industry today, warning some jobs will take a “long time” to return because they don't "fit" with coronavirus.
Skills minister Gillian Keegan said workers may now need to reskill or “take a different route in life”, due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
She told Sky News: “It’s easy to see that nightclubs – which I’m sure we all enjoy going to – it’s difficult to see how you can have a nightclub operating with coronavirus. In any sort of enjoyable way.”
Asked if those jobs were now gone, she replied: “I think, for now, I guess there is. We’ve had six months on furlough which has been there to try and protect those parts of the economy that can start moving again.
“But it is hard to see how nightclubs will open until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus. That is for sure true.
“Today we are introducing a new focus on adults which is just being able to offer people the chance to reskill, upskill, take different routes in life because they may need to.”
She said they could not continue furlough “indefinitely”, adding: “It is clear that some of those jobs may take a long time to come back because they don’t fit with the virus.”
Asked if she meant that nightclubs would not reopen until there is a Covid-19 vaccine, she said: “I’m not saying that, but it’s difficult to see how you could go to a nightclub within the rule of six…how can you socially distance and have a good time in a nightclub?
“I think it is difficult to see how you could keep the coronavirus under control, indoors in those kind of situations which is why they haven’t been opened yet.”
She also said there was “no doubt” that coronavirus was having a “devastating” effect on the economy.
In a speech today, the Prime Minister will say the government cannot "save every job" amid the coronavirus pandemic, but wants to help people find new work.
Mr Johnson will say: "As the chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job - what we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.
"We're transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain."
London's Night Czar Amy Lamé tweeted: "There's nothing magic about 10pm; the virus doesn't care what time it is. What matters is Covid-19 secure environments, test/track/trace.
"Nightclubs, pubs, bars and restaurants are well equipped for Covid-19 rules. We are part of the solution not the problem."