A muted start expected for some nightclubs even as nightlife businesses reopen
It is looking to be a quiet start for nightclubs, despite nightlife businesses being allowed to resume operations on Tuesday (April 19).
Most nightclubs The Straits Times spoke to said they will be reopening their doors on Wednesday (April 20), and some without a dance floor.
As part of the reopening, all nightlife establishments such as bars, pubs, karaoke establishments, discotheques and nightclubs will be subjected to safe management measures (SMMs), including vaccination-differentiated SMMs (VDS).
For nightlife establishments such as nightclubs and discotheques where there is dancing, a negative antigen rapid test (ART) supervised by a Ministry of Health-approved test provider - either in person or remotely - will be required for patrons before entry.
Individuals are also required to wear their masks in indoor settings if there is singing, dancing or both.
They may remove their mask if they are eating or drinking, but should put their mask back on mask immediately after doing so.
Mr Harry Apostolides, co-founder of restaurant and bar Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands, said: "Ce La Vi has evaluated the practicality, viability and marketability of the new testing rules required to enter a nightclub venue and we will initially opt for a 'hybrid model', where we will offer high energy entertainment, but will restrict patrons to their tables and will not set aside a dedicated dance floor area."
Throughout the pandemic, Ce La Vi had pivoted its nightclub to operate as a bar which offered food, beverages, and limited music and entertainment.
Mr Apostolides said that for Ce La Vi's patrons and guests staying at Marina Bay Sands, the pre-arrival ART test requirement may not be practical and limiting entry for the untested may ultimately restrict and limit the number of patrons that it can accommodate in its venue.
"Further, we feel that mask-wearing on a dance floor will not appeal to our guests, therefore we will operate as a high-energy 'ultra-lounge', offering live music and entertainment that guests can enjoy throughout our venue," he said.
Meanwhile, Yang Club Singapore at The Riverhouse in Clarke Quay will be reopening on Wednesday with a reduced space of its dance floor.
In December 2020, the club had pivoted to Hush by Mimi, a vibe dining concept.
Mr Navin Silvaraju, associate director of night business at 1-Group, which operates the club, said it has reduced the space of its dance floor by more than 50 per cent to control the crowd size.
Patrons will have to make reservations in advance to enter the club so that safe distancing and overcrowding within the premises can be managed, he added.
Mr Silvaraju said the club will reopen on Wednesday as it operates every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
He said the club will provide on-site ART testing before allowing patrons to enter. The cost of the ART tests will not be included in the table reservations, he added.
Similarly, Zouk said on its social media pages that it will reopen its doors on Wednesday.
Zouk did not reply to ST's queries by press time.
According to its social media posts, there will be on-site supervised ART tests at Zouk's main entrance every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9pm to 2am.
The cost of the ART test is not included in the cover charge. The cover charge is $35 for ladies and $40 for men on Wednesday, while the cover charge is $40 for ladies and $50 for men on Friday and Saturday.