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“Rapid lateral flow testing” could help theatres open quicker, says Boris Johnson

The Prime Minister has spoken about theatres ahead of next week’s plans.

Photo credit: Theatre (Photo by Glen Bledsoe on Flickr under CC 2.0)

In the latest Coronavirus press conference, Boris Johnson has spoken about the steps needed for theatres to reopen once more. Currently, all theatre is suspended for the foreseeable future, although livestreams are still allowed to take place as theatres are deemed a safe place of work.

When discussing the future of theatre, Johnson said: ““What we are thinking of at the moment is more of a route that relies on mass vaccination…plus lateral flow testing, rapid testing for those bits of the economy that are the toughest nuts to crack, such as nightclubs or theatres, those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year... that will be the route that we go down and that businesses will go down.”

This goes against previous discussions of “vaccine passports”, which would have allowed those who have had the Covid-19 vaccine free rein on attending any events.

In the Downing Street press briefing on 15 February, Johnson stressed: “I think for the purposes of this country and doing things within the domestic UK economy, we will look at everything.”

Parliamentary-under-Secretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Development Nadhim Zahawi has also spoken about future tests. In conversation with the BBC, he said: "It's a combination of rapid testing as well as a national vaccination programme that will get our economy back on its feet and venues open again... We have a couple of very large-scale studies related to giving us better data on the vaccines" also adding that government initiatives will be "data driven, rather than date driven."

At the moment, West End theatres will be allowed to reopen once London is deemed a safe area with low Coronavirus rates of transmission. Many West End shows are projecting an opening date in summer 2021, which you can check out here

Photo credit: Theatre (Photo by Glen Bledsoe on Flickr under CC 2.0)

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