By Mark T Connor • 17 July 2020 • 18:16
New social distancing policies will be put in place for audiences and performers, including reduced capacity and increased cleaning. Pic: Instagram
Great news for theatre lovers in the UK, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced that UK theatres, music and performance venues would be permitted to recommence performances from 1 August, with audiences social distancing
The announcement marks the progression to Stage Four of the government’s five-stage roadmap to the reopening of the performing arts.
In venues the patrons will have to give their details when they arrive, so that if someone in the audience subsequently tests positive for the coronavirus, the rest of the audience can be traced and informed of the situation, and take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves and others from the virus.
Full guidance for the Stage Four reopening has been laid out by the government, which includes reduced venue capacity, track-and-trace, increased venue cleaning, and clear social distancing signage for patrons. Backstage, performers and musicians are asked to observe social distancing “wherever possible”.
The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “The UK’s performing arts sector is renowned across the world and I am pleased that we are making real progress in getting its doors reopened to the public with social distancing.”
Julian Bird, the Society of London Theatre’s Chief Executive tweeted “Delighted indoor performances can resume from 1 August! Socially distanced audiences for now but we hope to build towards full audiences very soon!”
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