Theatres in England allowed to reopen after lockdown ends
Theatres in the lower tiers will be given the green light to reopen once again.
Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons today about England’s future after lockdown ends. In his speech, he confirmed that the current England lockdown will end on 2 December, with the country set to return to a tiered system.
Johnson also gave details about the future of the wider leisure sector, including theatres. He stated that, in tiers one and two (the lower tiers), live theatre can continue to an in-person audience. In tier three (the highest tier), theatres will not be able to stage shows. Regardless of tiers, all theatres will be able to livestream productions, as confirmed by Oliver Dowden on 3 November.
Johnson said that this “winter plan is designed to carry us safely into spring”, with information on which regions in which tiers to be given on Thursday 26 November. Decisions on tiers will be made through analysing previous data, as well as the rates of cases rising and falling.
Online, Oliver Dowden has confirmed the plans for theatres. He has stated that "indoor performances back again in Tiers 1 and 2. Numbers capped at 1000 or 50% of capacity, whichever is lower Performances will not be allowed in Tier 3, in line with other leisure and hospitality settings."
In a statement from Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre, Julian Bird said: "Today's announcement of new restrictions for performing arts venues in all tiers has shaken an already fragile sector... As ever, we remain committed to working with Government to secure the survival of our world-leading theatre sector."
A decision on London’s tier, which would affect West End theatres, is to be announced. Before the lockdown was imposed on 5 November, London was in tier 2, meaning live theatre could be performed to an audience.
The current lockdown has affected numerous West End shows, of which more information can be found here.