Remarkable photos have emerged from a nightclub in the UK, where people partied as part of a government-backed trial reopening after the Covid lockdown.
Around 3000 revellers aged between 18 and 20-years-old partied in a warehouse in Liverpool, with no social distancing and masks – a fitting reward for a nation that has embraced its vaccine rollout after once recording more than 60,000 cases a day at the peak of its third wave just months ago.
While the decision was seen as a landmark step for the UK in its road back to normality, the move divided opinion, with images of the event even prompting multiple calls to authorities over its legality.
To be allowed in to the venue, people had to test negative for Covid-19 within 24 hours of the event.
Liverpool City Council tweeted about the event, saying it was the first nightclub event of the year, adding the event was part of the Events Research Programme (ERP).
The Liverpool Express elaborated further and said the programme will host 6000 club goers over two nights at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse.
"It will pave the way for clubs across the country to reopen their doors in the near future," The Liverpool Express said.
"The ERP will be used to provide key scientific data into how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen as part of the roadmap out of lockdown, commencing no earlier than June 21."
The nightclub pilot will allow scientist to see if and how crowds dancing indoors increases the risk of transmitting Covid-19.
Only people living in the Liverpool City Region are able to attend events associated with the programme.
Opinions differ on 'experiment'
While the photos of the event paint a promising picture — some on social media were not onboard with the pilot.
"Crazy, great of the government to play Russian roulette with Liverpudlians' lives, give it 6-8 weeks and we will be back in lockdown," someone tweeted in response to the council.
"Is no one concerned that Liverpool people seem to be considered expendable and are being used for an experiment!" someone else tweeted.
"Wake up people."
It appears some people were so concerned about the gathering they contacted the police.
"We've received a few messages from concerned members of the public who have seen videos from a not socially distanced nightclub event in Liverpool," Merseyside Police tweeted.
"This is fortunately a legal event which is part of the pilot scheme."
However, some people were quite happy with the trial, one person was delighted to see "plenty of social dancing".
"Got to start somewhere to getting back to some sort of normality - be proud Liverpool is leading the charge!" they tweeted.
The event was endorsed by the council's Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton.
"Staying in lockdown is not an option, so we need to understand what the best and safest way of reopening key events is," he said.
“Thanks to promoters such as Circus, we are going to be able to gather vitally important scientific research which will provide a blueprint to opening up vital sectors of our economy locally and nationally.
Non-essential retailers in England reopened on April 12 along with pubs and restaurants operating outdoors.
From May 17 restrictions will be lifted further to include indoor hospitality, performances and sporting events.
On Friday, the UK recorded 2,381 cases.
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