Zouk to reopen with more security after 10-day closure, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Zouk to reopen with more security after 10-day closure

After being forced to shut for 10 days from from May 1 to May 10, Clarke Quay nightclub Zouk will be reopening its doors on Wednesday (May 11), with beefed up security.

The club had been fined $1,000 and ordered to close temporarily after its guests were found to have flouted the prevailing rules on group sizes at the time.

The incident took place on April 23, when the number of patrons per table was capped at 10. Zouk had a group of customers inside that exceeded that number.

"We have doubled our security headcount to ensure safe management measures that are still relevant to nightclubs are adhered to," said a spokesman for the club, in response to queries from The Straits Times.

In a previous statement to ST, Zouk had said that the area where the incident had happened had no fixed security personnel stationed there and patrolling was not conducted at the time.

The incident was not noticed by the club's security team. The Urban Redevelopment Authority subsequently issued the fine and ordered the premises temporarily closed.

Limits on group sizes and safe distancing measures were lifted on April 26, in what was a major easing of Covid-19 rules.

"However, the safety of our guests has always been and still is a priority," said the club spokesman.

"We have also employed other internal measures to encourage enhanced safe distancing between guests, such as cordoned-off dance areas and checkpoints to and from the dance floor."

Zouk, which can admit 1,500 people - that is, 75 per cent of its capacity under Covid-19 safe management measures - is capping its nightly crowd size at 500 for now. Patrons also need to buy tickets online ahead of time or make table reservations.

In a previous interview regarding Zouk's opening night on April 20, Zouk Group's chief financial officer Alex Phua had said this was to help with crowd management, as the club was facing manpower shortage.

Keeping the crowd size manageable for the available staff strength would help ensure the club's reopening was done safely, he had then said.

The spokesman added that they will evaluate the situation over time before deciding to increase capacity or make changes to how patrons purchase tickets to Zouk.

During the 10-day closure, Zouk's other outlets in the Clarke Quay complex - its restaurant Capital Kitchen, bar RedTail Bar and smaller club Phuture - remained opened for business.

The club offered existing ticket holders refunds or the option to use their tickets for entry to Phuture, which is focused on urban, hip hop and R&B music. Patrons are also allowed to hold on to their ticket and use it by May 31 on any other of the club's operational days, except guest DJ nights.

The prominent club's temporary closure came off the recent revival of the nightlife scene.

After a two-year hiatus, all nightlife businesses, such as karaoke establishments, pubs and nightclubs, were allowed to reopen from April 19 with Covid-19 safety measures in place.

At nightclubs where there is dancing, a negative antigen rapid test supervised by a Ministry of Health-approved test provider - either in person or remotely - is required for patrons before entry.

Additionally, patrons are required to wear masks on the dance floor. They may remove them when eating or drinking, but should put them back on immediately afterwards.