Return Of Indoor Shows Delayed And Masks Enforced


Return Of Indoor Shows Delayed And Masks Enforced

The socially-distanced reopening of indoor performances in England has been delayed until at least 15 August, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

The easing of restrictions at theatres and music venues was due to start this weekend, but has been postponed amid concerns over a rise in virus cases.

In addition, masks will be required in museums, galleries and cinemas – enforceable in law from 8 August.

Mr Johnson said: “We simply cannot take the risk.”

The government had been working with the arts sector on pilot performances with socially-distanced audiences in theatres and music venues in recent weeks.

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, said it was “disappointing that socially-distanced indoor performances will not be able to go ahead” as planned.

“However, in reality, the majority of theatres were not planning to reopen for shows tomorrow so a two-week delay will not make a huge difference.

“Most theatres will not be able to put on productions until we reach stage five [of the roadmap for the return of professional performing arts], which allows fuller audiences, so that is the most critical date for much of the sector.”

‘Heavy heart and broken bank balance’

Ken Wright, managing director of London’s Phoenix Arts Club took a slightly different view, saying the government’s decision to postpone the opening of live performance venues with less than a day’s notice had “pulled the carpet from under us”.

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“We’ve said all along that we would ‘open once and open well’. Therefore with heavy heart and broken bank balance we must announce that we will remain closed until we are certain that indoor live performance is permitted,” he said in a statement.

Earlier this month the government announced a £1.57bn support package for the arts, following several weeks of lobbying from theatres, music venues, art galleries and other cultural institutions, many of which had said they were on the brink of collapse.

Return Of Indoor Shows Delayed And Masks Enforced



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