Audiences adhering to social distancing will be able to return to indoor theatres, music and performance venues in just a few weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced today. The PM unveiled a raft of changes to the UK coronavirus lockdown from a Downing Street briefing this morning, offering up a major boost to the arts industry which has been hit hard by the outbreak. Today’s positive announcement comes after the Government’s announcement of £1.57 billion of funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this month.
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.
“From August indoor theatres, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country.
“This is a welcome step in the path to a return to normal and, coupled with our £1.57 billion rescue package, will help secure the future of this important sector.”
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When will theatres open?
Theatres will reopen from August 1.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is currently working with the sector on pilots of performances with socially distanced audiences, which will shape the reopening next month.
These include the London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke’s, London with a variety of further events in the coming weeks.
Spaces must only reopen if they are covid secure, however.
These measures include:
- Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
- Tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace
- Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach
- Increased deep cleaning of auditoriums
- Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives
- Performers, conductors, musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible
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