Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, the UK national advisory body for theatres, has responded to the Prime Minister’s lockdown easing announcement this afternoon:
Theatres Trust welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of a ‘not before’ date of 17 May for theatres to reopen with social distancing and capacity limits, but we recognise that this will be subject to the Covid data nearer the time. We also recognise that this means that many theatres, who cannot operate viably with lower audiences under social distancing, will need to wait longer before reopening.
Theatres Trust supports the government’s cautious approach to easing lockdown restrictions. We want to play our part in helping keep people safe and we do not want to be in a situation where theatres reopen too early only to be forced to close again after a short period.
The Job Retention Scheme and the Culture Recovery Fund have provided vital support for the sector so far. We are pleased to hear that the government is committed to continued support to protect jobs. It is important that this is targeted to reflect the differing realities for different sectors depending on where they are on the reopening roadmap.
The theatre sector continues to work with the government to establish as clear a pathway as possible to reopening and to identify any mitigating measures that would allow a return to full audiences.