Outdoor performances with social distancing given green light to start from July 11

Outdoor theatres have been given the green light to begin performances in England.

The government has said shows can begin as soon as Saturday, July 11.

However social distancing will have to be maintained both on and off stage with limited audience capacity.

A date for when indoor performances may be able to begin has yet to be set.

It follows the government announcing £1.57 billion worth of support for the arts.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to offer a lifeline to theatres, music venues and museums amid the ongoing global health crisis which includes £880 million worth of grants, as well as £270 million of repayable loans.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. That’s why we’re protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times.

“We are also giving further clarity on restart dates in our roadmap back to performance. From July 11 we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and we are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots. Our scientific research project will also help speed up this journey.

“Combined with our £1.57bn rescue package, this is a comprehensive plan to help our brilliant arts organisations weather the covid storm and bounce back stronger.”

Housing and Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick added: “The UK has a leading cultural industry that is the envy of the world. Our theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues are one of the reasons that the country has this reputation and they are essential to our national culture. That’s why we are protecting them for the enjoyment of future generations.

“Alongside the £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions, I am ensuring the buildings that represent these institutions can’t be destroyed and are properly protected in the planning system.”

About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.


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