Lockdown Tiers – What they mean to theatres around the UK

The new lockdown tiers system to take effect after the current lockdown ends on the 2 December was announced today for England only.

Tier restrictions England theatres

The new lockdown tiers system has three levels with three being classed as very high risk. The new tier system will be introduced from 2 December with a review to re-evaluate each sector on the 16th December to be announced the following day. Further revisions will then be made every fortnight.

A quick review of the tier system in relation to entertainment and hospitality is as follows:-


No socialising in groups larger than 6 indoors or outdoors.

Early closure (11 pm) of cinemas and theatres. concert halls. These venues can stay open after 11 pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10 pm.

Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted to 50% capacity or 4000 people (outdoors) or 1000 people (indoors) whichever is the lesser.


Tier 2 is for an area with higher or rapidly rising levels of infections, where additional restrictions.

You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside.


Early closure (11 pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11 pm in order to conclude performances  that start before 10 pm

Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.

London, Liverpool, York, East/West Sussex, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Windsor, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, Brighton, Reading, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bath, Poole, Gloucestershire, Devon, Chichester and Portsmouth are all included in Level 2.


This is for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.


You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.

You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.

Indoor entertainment and tourist venues including cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.

Manchester, Bristol, Leicester, Birmingham, Coventry, Leeds, Derby, Derbyshire, Sunderland, Northumberland, Middlesborough, Blackpool, Warwickshire including Stratford upon Avon, Hull, Newcastle, Wolverhampton, and Nottingham are in Level 3.

More detailed guidance on the new Lockdown Tier system for England can be found here.




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