Thousands hit the dancefloor throughout the weekend as part of British pilot project

The two-day clubbing event did not require attendees to socially distance, wear a face mask or have a vaccine passport

Photo: Getty Images via NME

Thousands of people have partied through the night in Liverpool, in what was Britain’s first legal club night without masks and social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns. About 3,000 party-goers hit the dancefloor at a warehouse in the north-western English city on Friday night.

The party was part of a pilot programme by the British government to test whether large events can be staged safely during the coronavirus pandemic. A second event took place on Saturday, with all people attending having to present a negative coronavirus test result no older than 24 hours and have to take another test five days after the event. No masks and social distancing were required at the venue, however.

The project also includes a soccer cup final attended by 8,000 people on Sunday at London’s Wembley stadium.

“We are very excited,” 18-year-old Leah Lawless, one of the lucky ticketholders, told the PA news agency.

Event producer Sam Newson stressed that the project was urgently needed in the industry which has been hard hit by coronavirus restrictions.

“I stood on stage early on and I had a little bit of a teary eye, I'm not going to lie, it is very emotional,” Newson told PA after the Friday fun.

Researchers will now accumulate data from these events to see how approaches to social distancing and ventilation affect the spread of the virus. Liverpool director of public health Matt Ashton said those who test positive following the pilot party would have to self-isolate.

"We would follow them up and ask them where they have been and who they have been in contact with," he was quoted as saying by PA.

However, he didn’t expect anyone to test positive as a result of the project, Ashton added.

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