The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has spoken about a new, rapid COVID-19 test that could have the potential to help get fuller audiences in theatres nationwide.
Dowden spoke about the new investment in testing that could develop further improvements in a recent statement. His announcement about feeling ‘very positive’ came after the UK Government announced £500 million for providing quicker tracking and testing for the virus. The new tests are being trialled in Southampton and Hampshire and they could provide results within merely 20 minutes of taking a swab test using saliva.
Officials hope to boost COVID-19 testing capacities ahead of winter season, which may see a second wave of rise in cases if not handled correctly. The new rapid testing should break the chain of transmission much quicker than the current ones by delivering almost on-the-spot results. This quick result should also aid in getting theatre performances back to a greater audience capacity and allowing for larger events to take place as well.
Many theatres have already had to cancel or amend their winter plans in line with current restrictions on indoor performances.
Words by Regina Toth.