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Theatre leaders support calls for Covid status certification in open letter

A variety of industry figures have called for certification to be put in place

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Meera Syal and Ralph Fiennes
© Dan Wooller

Theatre figures have called for the introduction of Covid-status certification to help revive the arts sector.

The likes of Ralph Fiennes, Meera Syal, Tom Stoppard, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Adrian Lester, Simon Rattle and Andrew Lloyd Webber have all signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and opposition party leaders, stating that certifications would help revive "the beating heart of society, providing jobs and entertainment to people of all ages".

The also emphasised that any certification must be non-discriminatory and available to all, based either on vaccination status, presence of a negative Covid test or the number of anti-bodies in the certificate holder. This is an important point – that the certificates do not favour exclusively those who have already received their vaccines.

A recent survey on WhatsOnStage has stated that the majority of theatregoers favour the implementation of Covid status certification.

The letter states: "We strongly support the government's ambition to return to full capacity audiences without restrictions as soon as possible, and we recognise that this can be only be achieved through gathering evidence that it is safe to remove or lessen restrictions, including looking at how Covid-status certification could aid the reduction of social distancing."

A variety of venues have already pledged to reopen as soon as the government's roadmap allows – see our round-up here.

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