Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The show can’t go on: Covid tracking app crippling theatres and venues

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While capacity crowds are now allowed, productions are being shut down by isolation rules as cast members are ‘pinged’

West End theatre and venue managers across Britain are calling on the government to let them rely on regular Covid testing of cast and crew to avoid the “crippling” isolation rules that are shutting shows.

While the lifting of social distancing restrictions in England on Monday will allow capacity audiences back, the live entertainment industry is being pummelled by the Covid tracking system and will not survive the summer, leading voices have claimed. “There are so many shows shut right now because of it,” said Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatres and UK Theatre. “It is a kind of ‘closing down by stealth’ when we should be opening up. We are already doing all we need to stay safe, with daily tests and strict cleaning.”

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