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Theatres could reopen without social distancing ‘within weeks’

There’s hope that live theatre could return without the need for social distancing very soon.


Most theatres across the UK have been closed since March as a result of the ongoing pandemic.


While a handful of venues have started to reopen their doors with social distancing in place, for many it is simply not financially viable.

But now the government has hinted that it could allow indoor performances without the need for social distancing ‘within weeks’.

An article in The Sunday Times states that while the current date for reopening is November 1 it’s hoped this could be moved forward with the introduction of rapid testing kits.

The prime minister and culture secretary Oliver Dowden have reportedly ordered officials to “move at extreme pace” to encourage audiences back.

“Direction has been given at a very senior level to work at extreme pace on this,” an official told the publication.

Meanwhile, writing in the Mail On Sunday, Dowden revealed what he called “Operation Sleeping Beauty”.

He said: “Testing is the short-term key until we find a working vaccine. We’re making exciting advances in quick turnaround testing, where on-the-day coronavirus tests could give people who test negative a pass to visit the theatre that evening”.

Alongside giving the green light to reopening, work is also said to be underway on a new scheme to encourage ticket sales similar to the recent “eat out to help out” concept for restaurants.

It seems that good news is on the horizon – watch this space!

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About the author: Jessica White

Recent University graduate Jessica is the newest writer for Stageberry. She's over the moon to be sharing her theatre knowledge and passion for musicals with the online world.