Theatre groups say end of Plan B is ‘confidence boost’ for sector

Venues will no longer require a Covid pass for entry.

Alex Green
Wednesday 19 January 2022 19:54
Theatres on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue at night (Rick Findler/PA)
Theatres on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue at night (Rick Findler/PA)

The Society of London Theatre (Solt) and UK Theatre have welcomed the Government’s decision to end Plan B coronavirus measures as a “confidence boost” for the sector.

Workers can return to offices and face masks can soon be removed under plans set out by Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

The relaxing of rules also means theatres, nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass for entry.

Outgoing chief executive of the sister bodies, Julian Bird, said: “The relaxing of Plan B measures, particularly the end of mandatory home working, should provide a confidence boost to the theatre industry after several weeks of turbulence and uncertainty.

“Throughout the pandemic, theatres UK-wide have worked tirelessly to offer world-class entertainment and audiences can be assured that venues using the See It Safely mark, developed by Solt and UK Theatre, are operating in accordance with the latest Government guidelines.

“As restrictions ease, we continue to ask theatregoers to wear face coverings throughout our buildings unless exempt, to protect our hardworking staff, performers and fellow audience members.”

Many venues have implemented the See It Safely scheme, which allows venues to display a special mark once they have signed up to a code of conduct and proved they are following the latest guidance.

Approved venues receive a toolkit including the mark, which can be displayed on venues and promotional material, an animated safety video, signage and further training.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, welcomed “the removal of the restrictions for the night-time economy and hospitality sector”.

He added: “Following an extremely difficult two years for the night-time economy and hospitality sector, which has been, in every sense, at the sharpest end of the pandemic throughout, we are finally able to plan for the future with some level of certainty and without debilitating restrictions.

“With the devastating losses over the festive period, and the effects of limited cash flow being felt across the sector, our industry has been placed in an extremely fragile state, and without question will need further financial relief and support to survive.

Experts believe it will take several years for the hospitality and night-time economy sectors to recover, but it is important that the Government don’t simply assume the sector will be fine because restrictions have been eased. More support will be needed.”

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