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West End shows introduce Covid status certification at their venues

Major chain ATG has got behind the move to help mitigate risks

The cast of Come From Away
© Craig Sugden

A variety of venues including major theatre chain ATG has, as of 16 July, introduced plans to check Covid Status Certification as theatres move to stage shows with full capacities from today.

At ATG, this proof of status will take three forms for those over the age of 18:

– First of all, if a spectator has evidence of a negative lateral flow test, either taken at home or at a test centre, within the last 48 hours.

– Secondly, if the individual has had a second vaccine doses at least two weeks before the event (evidence of this will need to be provided via the NHS App)

– Thirdly, proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the show.

Those under the age of 18 should have verbal confirmation from a parent or guardian that they have not received a positive test. Anyone unwilling to comply will be denied entry and unable to receive a refund. Anyone unable to attend due to their inability to meet one of the criteria will be issued with a credit voucher. The venue has also heavily advised the wearing of face masks during shows to help mitigate risks.

Shows at ATG venues impacted by the move include blockbuster musical Pretty Woman, as well as eagerly anticipated return of Come From Away. ATG owns a variety of large theatres across the nation, including a number across the West End.

The plans will also take effect at Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre, where producer Cameron Mackintosh is said to be trialling the scheme from 21 July.

This week's performances at Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella, about to hit press night, has a slightly different approach. Audiences will have to take a test a maximum of 48 hours before the performance if over the age of 11, regardless of vaccine status.

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