Leeds and Sheffield placed in lockdown tier three – with theatres unable to welcome live audiences
The decision will be reconsidered in mid-December
Leeds and Sheffield have been placed in the highest "tier three", it has been revealed by the UK government.
As it stands, socially distanced shows in the cities will not be able to go ahead before 17 December at the earliest (at which stage lockdown rules will be re-evaluated and may be altered).
Live-streamed shows will still be feasible under tier three, as has been the case throughout the existing national lockdown. Venues such as HOME in Manchester had been forced to stream their scheduled shows for virtual audiences throughout this month.
The tiers will be reintroduced from 2 December, and then re-evaluated from 16 December (with changes announced on 17 December) every fortnight. We will be providing local updates for areas across England throughout the day, as we receive word from venues. So stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for more.
In a statement Sheffield Theatres said: "We are committed to doing everything we can to bring the magic of panto to Sheffield this year. It's a relief to know that we are able to continue to rehearse shows under the current Tier 3 guidance.
"Our rehearsals for Damian's Pop Up Panto will begin on 6 December and we'll be preparing to welcome audiences back to the buildings from 16 December. We know that if we remain in Tier 3 we won't be able to reopen to the public. We are remaining hopeful that the spread of the virus will slow and that we may move down to Tier 2, in which case we can reopen the Crucible's doors. Should Sheffield remain in Tier 3 when the first review takes place, we'll adjust our plans and we hope to share the pantomime online."
You can find out what will be on across the UK via our show pages.