As with many of the UK’s businesses, LGBT+ clubs and bars are currently closed and are not permitted to open during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Since the last week of March 2020, the UK’s LGBT+ bars and clubs were ordered to shut, along with many other “non-essential” businesses.
As it currently stands bars and clubs will not be allowed to open again for the foreseeable future, putting immense pressure onto the “gay scene”, which has already suffered a slew of closures in recent years due to ever-increasing rents in cities and generally falling footfall.
On May the 10th the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, laid out tentative plans to reopen parts of the UK’s economy. The hospitality industry, arguably the hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, will be one of the last to be reopened.
Some of the industry would be permitted to commence trading again on 4th July, but that was contingent on a number of factors, including keeping the number of new infections of COVID-19 down and the ability to maintain social distancing measures within the premises.
No help from landlords
The iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London has called upon its customers to help it make ends meet during the lockdown.
In a Tweet sent via its official account, the pub’s management said that it didn’t meet criteria for a £25,000 business grant and was only receiving relief for its business rates. It said that it was still liable for rents, which its landlords had refused to consider restructuring.
The statement said, “We are a small independent company that has gone from being a vibrant cabaret, performance and club venue to zero income overnight.
“Since 20 March the financial support we have received from the Government, City Hall, Local Authority or our landlord is relief on business rates.
“We do not qualify for the £25,000 grand that some smaller venues are eligible for.
It urged fans to donate via a funding page.
The closure of the UK’s LGBT+ bars and clubs has put tremendous pressure on the UK’s vibrant LGBT+ performers as well.