The U.S. government has announced that indoor performances in theaters and other venues in England may begin on 1 August, and business events and conferences may resume on October. 1. The rules of social distance must be observed.
The announcement was made on Twitter on Friday by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Oliver Dowden. He added that the move “builds up pilots” among others, including the London Symphony Orchestra.
In a statement, Dowden said: “The performing arts sector in the United States has gained worldwide acclaim and I am delighted that we are making real progress in reopening its doors to the public with social distance.
This measure only applies to England because the rest of the United States has national administrations that control the resumption of public events.
Julian Bird, CEO of the Society of London Theater, commented on Twitter: “Joyful indoor performances may resume on 1 August! Socially distance audience for now but we hope to move towards full audience soon! “
Friday’s announcement will move the government into a four-step five-step roadmap for the return of professional performing arts. Under the new government, audiences, performers and venues will always be expected to maintain social distance.
Under the fourth phase, theaters and other venues have to follow the guidelines laid down by the government earlier. The following conditions must be met:
- Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distance is maintained
- Tickets will be purchased online and places are encouraged to use e-tickets to help track and trace to reduce communication.
- There should have been explicit mention of social distance marking in areas of places where lines form and limited access methods are adopted.
- Deep cleanliness of the auditorium.
- Performances should be scheduled to allow ample time for deep cleaning before the next audience arrives.
- Performers, conductors, musicians have to observe social distance wherever possible.
The move follows the government’s announcement of 1.5 1.57 billion (1. 1.97 billion) for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this month, the largest investment ever made in these industries.
John Morgan, director of the Theaters Trust, welcomed Friday’s announcement in a statement, but added a note with caution. “Along with the support package and performing arts guidance announced last week, it’s a step in the right direction, but for most theaters it won’t be economically viable to relaunch it with the required 30-40% of the audience under social distance.”
“We now need to make progress as soon as possible to announce the 5th stage at the required level, so that the theaters can be fully reopened with proper security measures. Without these, most theaters would not be able to reactivate effectively, and we need to move forward with Christmas shows, on which the survival of many theaters depends on the very last few weeks. “