MP Caroline Dinenage has elaborated on the government’s plans for reopening theatres, announcing they will open ‘very shortly’ once safety measures have been tested.
Speaking on Sky News, Dinenage revealed that the government “very shortly want to be able to announce theatres indoors but with social distancing”, adding that they have “always taken a very slow and methodical, an iterative approach. We always look at the scientific data, we know that the infection rate is coming down and the test and trace system is working really well.
“But some activities are more risky than others, and we need to balance that risk against the risk to public health and the economy of keeping things shut, and that’s why we’re taking this very slow and steady approach- opening things bit by bit as and when the data suggests that it is safe to do so.”
Outdoor theatres have been allowed to begin socially distanced performances, under guidelines including lower capacity venues, one way travel routes, e-ticketing systems, digital programmes and pre-ordered refreshments.
Indoor venues have faced an economic threat during lockdown, and Shakespeare’s Globe have confirmed it will not be able to reopen with social distancing measures in place, as it would not be “economically viable”.
The government has announced a £1.57 billion package to the arts sector, however the details of this distribution have not been clarified.
Words by Meghna Amin.