Boris Johnson suggests rapid testing could be the “route forward” in reopening nightclubs

Boris Johnson nightclubs press conference

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street press conference last night (15 February).

Boris Johnson has suggested that rapid Covid-19 testing could be used to reopen businesses such as nightclubs and theatres. The Prime Minister addressed the nation at a Downing Street press conference when he touched on the matter. He stated that lateral flow tests, which provide results in 30 minutes, could be used by “those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year”.

“You’re already seeing lots of businesses using the potential of rapid on-the-day testing as well. I think that in combination with vaccination will probably be the route forward,” stated Johnson.

“But I want to stress to everybody, it is still early days, with lots of discussions still to be to be had.”

Many UK nightclubs and venues have been shuttered ever since the first Covid-19 restrictions were brought in last March. Warehouse Project and Parklife festival founder Sacha Lord, who also has a role as Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, tweeted: “Can someone pinch me please…. Tonight, after 11 months…The Prime Minister has finally uttered the word we have been waiting for: “Nightclub””.

Late last year, UK company Swallow Events launched a 15-minute coronavirus testing service targeted towards the events industry. The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), CE and PHE-approved tests provided as part of the service can offer results in 15 minutes with 96.52% sensitivity and 99.68% specificity.

Festivals such as Unum Festival in Albania are already partnering with Swallow Events on their 2021 events. The team behind Unum have undergone “careful discussions” with the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Ministry of Health. The Albanian government has approved the use of rapid Covid-19 testing for 2021.