Theatre News: Culture Secretary Announces Social Distancing Will Remain Until November

It has been announced that theatres will not find out before November when they are able to reopen without complying with the social distancing rules.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the culture secretary (Oliver Dowden) said that indoor performances without social distancing rules in place will only resume once “safe to do so”.

However, it has been indicated by the Prime Minister that this information will only be given – at the earliest – in November.

Dowden expressed that he “completely understands the desire” for a date on when indoor performances may resume without the government’s safety measures put in place, and said that “when it comes to November we will look again.”

The National Theatre have already emphasised to the government how even just reducing the social distancing measures from two metres to one, would be more “straightforward”, however audiences will not look the same as before lockdown.

If theatres aren’t to resume fully, then more pressure will be put on the govenment’s £1.57 billion rescue package; more creatives left unemployed, and an uncertain future for our theatres.

Words by Neve Gordon-Farleigh.

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