Guidelines provided to night-time businesses to help them reopen on 4 July are ‘not fit for purpose’, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

The association has pointed to a “lack of clarity”, which means businesses are falling caught between what the government is asking them to do and what the licensing and planning regulators say they can do.

“Our members feel stuck in a bizarre tug of war between Government, licensing and planning regulators and the police. But no one knows which rope to pull and in which direction, leaving businesses stranded in the middle with no way to move forward and out of this mess,” said an NTIA statement.

A survey of 938 NTIA members found that 51.6% said they would not be reopening on 4 July

“The public are rightly concerned about what this state of affairs means for people of all ages that are desperate for an outlet and a safe environment to catch up with their friends. No one wants to see a rise in illegal raves and gatherings like we have seen in recent weeks.

“But the threat of these events becoming mainstay is real unless Night Time Economy businesses are given a clear roadmap for them to safely re-engage the market place, with further financial support to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.”

A survey of 938 NTIA members found that 51.6% said they would not be reopening on 4 July, with a further 6.4% saying they would be only opening outdoor areas. 42% said they would be opening on 4 July.

Of the businesses which said they would not be reopening, 52.6% said the reason for this was because opening as not financially viable. 30.8% said they could not meet Covid-19 guidance requirements.