Theatre News

England to ease Covid restrictions from next week, Prime Minister announces

The news will be heartening for many

Two theatres on the Strand
Two theatres on the Strand
© WhatsOnStage

The English government's "Plan B" measures will end next Thursday, it has been announced.

In what was a bruising afternoon for the Prime Minister, with one MP defecting to the Opposition and his own MP David Davis telling him "in the name of god, go" after a rapid series of controversies around Downing Street parties, Boris Johnson tried to put his own career hiccups behind him by setting out new plans for Covid guidance in England.

Against the backdrop of plateauing Covid case numbers and hospitalisations, England will move to "Plan A". Mandatory Covid status certification will no longer be enforced in a variety of settings, though venues are entitled to introduce these measures of their own volition. Working from home guidance will also be dropped under the new rules.

Mask-wearing, though no longer mandatory, will now be encouraged for any crowded and indoor settings (including theatres) with many theatres actively stressing the need for audiences to wear masks.

Self-isolation measures are "expected not to be renewed" from 24 March, and may even end earlier, Johnson announced.

Jon Morgan of the Theatres Trust commented: "Theatres in England have not had the buoyant festive period they so desperately needed after nearly two years of the pandemic. We hope that lifting the work from home guidance will encourage more people to return to town centres and visit their local theatres, giving them a much-needed boost."

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