Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 Roadmap and what it means for theatre

Boris Johnson and the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport have unveiled their roadmap under which theatres could re-open at full capacity by late June.

West End looking like a Ghost Town roadmap
West End looking like a Ghost Town. Photo: Mark Ludmon

The proposed guidelines in the Government’s roadmap are dependent on the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions by Spring. This would be achieved through continued coronavirus vaccinations and the effectiveness of current lockdown restrictions.

The main developments for theatre are contained in roadmap from Step 3 onwards.

Step 3 is slated to go into effect no earlier than 17 May and allows for the re-opening of outdoor venues. Indoor theatres will be able to re-open but will be limited to capacities of 1000 people or 50% whichever is lower.

Step 4 is the biggest potential step for theatres with the easing of all remaining capacity restrictions for theatres. It is highly likely though that enhanced testing and Covid-19 status certifications may be implemented.

Step 4 is pencilled in to begin on 21 June (or five weeks after Step 3).

It is important to note that guidance dates are not exact and could be changed based on the state of the pandemic at the time. Confirmation of dates and rules will be advised one week in advance.

The roadmap treats the re-opening of theatres as a cultural necessity and points towards maintaining the arts however possible. The roadmap points towards the aim of allowing theatres to remain open once they can welcome back audiences.

We will update information on all productions and their plans to re-open as soon as they are known.

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