Theatre News

UK government announces list of pilot events without social distancing

The scheme kicks off in April

Sheffield Theatres
Sheffield Theatres
© Craig Fleming

The UK government has revealed more details around how it intends to test the return of live events without social distancing.

In reports issued this morning, it was revealed that the World Snooker Championship, running from 17 April to 3 May, will be used to "test a theatre setting" at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Further events will take place at a nightclub, a comedy club and a business events venue, though exact locations are to be revealed. Other events will include the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

Different environments, with seated and standing spectators, will be trialled, while the use of face coverings and enhanced ventilation will also be explored. The presence of alcohol as well as journeys to and from venues are also part of the scheme.

No stage shows are currently specified but according to DCMS, further details are to be revealed in due course. Audience members involved will be tested before they enter a venue and then again after they leave.

The scheme will feature theatre director Nicholas Hytner (artistic director of the Bridge Theatre) and David Ross, the former chair of the Government's sport, tech and innovation group.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet.

"These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I'm fully focused on delivering."

These events are set to pave the way for non-socially distanced experiences, currently scheduled to be permitted from late June under the government roadmap.

Socially distanced events with caps on capacity are permitted from 17 May.

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