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Photograph: Alastair Muir

Theatres, cinemas and concert halls can still stay open late

The government’s new restrictions thankfully won’t impact performing arts venues

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

The performing arts industry had been braced for tough new measures resulting from the government’s new restrictions. But in fact it seems to have got off remarkably lightly: Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed yesterday that theatres, cinemas and concert halls will be allowed to stay open past 10pm.

Their bars will still have to shut at 10pm, and it’s worth pointing out that there aren’t many theatres or concert halls currently open, due to the expensive social distancing measures they have to operate under. But it does pave the way for the mooted distanced reopening of full-length West End shows like ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. 

No official explanation has been given, but we’d assume it’s because of the very high compliance with safety measures required in performing arts venues and cinemas, plus the relatively negligible amount of work likely to be on after 10pm.

It is still unclear how grassroots music venues will be affected by the curfew, and the Music Venue Trust said it was awaiting clarification from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 

Whatever the case, this is great news for cultured night owls – for now.

Read all about England’s new curfew rules

London theatres could be fully reopened by Christmas.

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