Theatre News

Health Secretary announces new tier restrictions for England

Theatres in areas that have been upgraded to tier three will have to close from Boxing Day

The new front of the Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic is among the venues affected
© Jon Craig

Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced new tiers of coronavirus restrictions for many regions in England, which will come in to effect on Boxing Day.

Areas that have been placed in tier three are Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Swindon, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Northamptonshire, Cheshire and Warrington.

This means theatres and other performance venues in those regions must close after Christmas. Theatres including the Bristol Old Vic and Octagon Theatre in Yeovil are affected.

Hancock also announced that several regions are moving to tier four, the highest level, which also means venues in these areas must close if they are not already in tier three. These are Essex, Norfolk, Sussex, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hampshire. Cornwall and Herefordshire meanwhile will move up to tier two.

All new tiers will come into effect at 00.01am on Boxing Day. For a full breakdown of how the tiers impact theatres, see our guide.