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English theatres may able to run without social distancing in June, Prime Minister announces

Social contact measures may be eased

The West End

Boris Johnson has said that theatres may be able to open without social contact restrictions from 21 June.

Johnson was quick to highlight that this will be largely down to whether or not conditions are met, and may have to occur in tandem with rapid testing or other mitigation measures. Restrictions on large events may also be lifted at the same time.

The government is also exploring whether or not Covid-status certification to help venues open safely, with more on this to be expected in April.

The Prime Minister has also unveiled a four-step test that will govern each decision for reopening the economy (including the opening of venues), saying "The sequence will be informed by the evidence...our decision will be led by data, not dates." This includes:

a) The success of the vaccine scheme
b) Sufficient evidence to show vaccine effectiveness
c) Infection rates being such that they do not risk a surge in hospitals
d) The presence of any concerning variants that change risks "fundamentally"

The government has also stressed that dates for each stage will only be "earliest" dates and could be pushed back.

Schools are set to open on 8 March, with two households able to mix outdoors by the end of March. The Prime Minister has also said that there will be no more geography-based tier systems, though local interventions may take place if necessary.

There will be five-week intervals between each new reopening step to assess the impact of relaxed measures, before new steps are taken.

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