Culture Secretary Hopeful Theatres Can Fully Open On 21 June


Culture secretary Oliver Dowden is “very hopeful” for a full theatre reopening on 21 June, following successful test events.

The government’s Events Research Programme organised various large-scale indoor events, without social distancing measures in place, across April and May. Amongst the 58,000 attendees only 15 cases of Covid-19 emerged.

The programme’s results will determine whether the proposed relaxation of social distancing regulations will happen on 21 June. 

The highest number of cases found were at a Liverpool nightclub, with nine cases among the 6,000 attendees.

Outdoor events, such as the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium and music festival in Liverpool, identified just two cases of Covid.

Another test event included the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Across 17 days of the tournament, just four cases were found. 

In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Dowden expressed his hope following the success of this programme: “I hope by June 21 we will be lighting up the West End again, having full stadiums and bringing light and Technicolor back into our national life again.” 

More government-backed trials will take place which could include bigger crowds, testing, ventilation and trialling the possibility of Covid-19 certification. This would include presenting proof of vaccination or a negative PCR Test. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce whether Stage 4 can go ahead as planned on 14 June.

Words by Katie Heyes

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