Date Published: 31 July 2020
The Government announced this afternoon that the planned easing of restrictions tomorrow, Saturday 1 August, will not be going ahead due to a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases across the country.
Activities that had been due to start on 1 August have been delayed due to a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK - this includes stage 4 of the roadmap for the reopening of performing arts and means that indoor performances are still not permitted at the current time.
This change will continue for at least a fortnight, with indoor performances with socially distanced audiences being allowed from 15 August at the earliest - although the date could still be delayed further.
Theatres were among the businesses that were to be allowed to re-open with social distancing measures from tomorrow, alongside casinos, bowling alleys, and beauty salons. Pilots for inside performances and sports events are also suspended.
These services will continue to remain closed for at least two weeks, meaning that they will not be able to open until 15 August at the very earliest.
This news does not affect outdoor performances with socially distanced audiences (stage 3 of the roadamap). These can continue, subject to local lockdown restrictions, meaning venues such as Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, along with many new and existing open-air venues across the UK, will still be able to continue as planned.
Boris Johnson said that the delay would be “squeezing the break” and that they still intend to move forwards.
Face coverings will be required in more indoor spaces, including cinemas, galleries and places of worship, and this will be enforceable by law from 8 August.