The UK government has published a 68-page road map for coming out of lockdown, including details on when and under what conditions theatres can reopen.
The road map details that theatres will be able to reopen with social distancing on 17 May 2021 at the earliest. This is similar to the plans laid out in December 2020, with indoor events able to accommodate 1000 attendees with at least a 50 per cent lower capacity.
Included within the plans is the aim that drive in performances and outdoor cinema screenings can take place from as early as 12 April.
The government acknowledges that these dates will be at the earliest and may be pushed back depending on the success of the restrictions and meeting vaccination targets. The road map also states that there may be as little as a week’s notice between anychanges to the implemented strategy for exiting lockdown.
Nica Burns, Nimax Theatre’s chief executive told The Stage that “we are definitely going to open all six theatres with social distancing, and are now working on our reopening plan to do that. We have a no-earlier-than date or reopening without social distancing but it’s not guaranteed. Big shows need certainty and planning.”
Meanwhile, the National Theatre (NT) has also stated that they hope to resume live performances “as soon as possible” following the government’s announcement. However, they have also highlighted that “socially distanced performances are not sustainable in the medium term for the NT” or many other theatres across the UK.
Words by Neve Gordon-Farleigh.
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