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Culture secretary 'hopeful' theatres can open in full on 21 June

Oliver Dowden has given a boost to the theatre industry

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden
© UK Parliament / Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said he is "very hopeful" that theatres will be able to open in full on 21 June, following the success of test events.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Dowden revealed that just 15 cases of Covid-19 emerged among 58,000 people who took part in the trials at events including the Brit Awards and FA Cup final.

The highest number of Covid-19 cases that occurred during the trial were at a nightclub event in Liverpool, with nine cases being found among 6,000 attendees.

Other test event included the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, where just four cases of Covid-19 occurred across 17 days of the tournament.

Dowden said there will be a second round of government-backed trials involving even bigger crowds to further understand how to manage events safely. The European Championship football matches at Wembley will likely be included in these.

Dowden added: "I hope by June 21 we will be lighting up the West End again, having full stadiums and bringing light and Technicolor back into our national life again."

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