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Mask-wearing in theatres no longer required, as England eases Covid restrictions

Current Plan B restrictions will be dropped from 27 January.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The English government's current "Plan B" measures will end later this month. Speaking in parliament on 19 January, Boris Johnson announced that "Plan B" measures, including mandated mask-wearing and Covid passports, will be dropped. 

Even though face masks will no longer be required in any setting, the Prime Minister has advised people to continue wearing masks in crowded spaces. Instead, theatres can now encourage audience members to wear a mask.

There will also be an end to mandatory Covid passes to enter venues, such as theatres, concert halls, and nightclubs. Self-isolation policies will remain, with people testing positive having to self-isolate for at least five days. The self-isolation requirement expires on 24 March; however, this date is subject to change.

Theatres across England will continue to ask audiences to wear masks indoors as a safety precaution. In an article from The Stage, visitors at Theatre Royal Stratford East are asked to wear a face covering unless sat down eating and drinking. The London Coliseum will keep masks until at least 15 February, and LW Theatres strongly recommend masks in their venues. LW Theatres venues in London include: Adelphi Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Gillian Lynne Theatre, Her Majesty's Theatre, London Palladium, Theatre Royal Drury Lane. 

Current health and safety measures in West End theatres, and theatres nationwide include the following: daily testing for cast and crew, vaccination policies, cleaning stations, mask wearing, social distancing, no stage door meetings. Find out more about health and safety measures in the West End.

Speaking about the relaxation of Covid measures, SOLT and UK Theatre Chief Executive Julian Bird said: "The relaxing of Plan B measures... should provide a confidence boost to the theatre industry after several weeks of turbulence and uncertainty. Throughout the pandemic, theatres UK-wide have worked tirelessly to offer world-class entertainment and audiences can be assured that venues using the See it Safely mark, developed by SOLT & UK Theatre, are operating in accordance with the latest Government guidelines. As restrictions ease, we continue to ask theatregoers to wear face coverings throughout our buildings unless exempt, to protect our hardworking staff, performers and fellow audience members."

Photo credit: Masks (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Article Originally Published: 19 January 2022

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