Due to the new Omicron Covid variant, more people have become reluctant to make theatre bookings, and during the peak Christmas season, theatres are expecting bookings to be down by 50%. Theatre bookings had begun to pick up pace leading up to Christmas, however, the new variant has dashed hopes of theatres going back to full capacity any time soon.
The Society of Independent Theatres, said last week that “regional and smaller theatres would be especially hard hit by “plan B” government restrictions and concerns over the Omicron variant during a period when they generate about a third of their income.”
Society of London Theatres, who represent around 230 London based theatre owners, managers, and producers, as well as UK Theatre, which represents approximately 240 theatres released a statement on the new measures.
“We understand the government's decision to introduce Plan B and are heartened to see amendments have been made to make it easier for our theatres to operate.
Theatres remain fully open and will continue to offer much-needed respite from the current challenges, in a safe and ordered environment. We are grateful to all our audiences for their ongoing support.
Our industry-wide See it Safely protocols give audiences confidence that theatres are operating in accordance with the latest official guidelines - as part of these, we have always strongly recommended the wearing of face coverings throughout our buildings, and the government's move to make them mandatory will help our hardworking Front of House staff keep our venues safe.
Although the current NHS Covid Pass recommendations do not apply to theatres, it is good to see that the government has included lateral flow test results as part of the pass alongside proof of vaccination - something our industry had been advocating for.
Finally, we welcome the news that isolation requirements are to be replaced by daily testing for contacts of people infected by Omicron - this will avoid the disastrous 'pingdemic' of the summer and help keep our shows open and our audiences entertained."