A new scheme has been launched to reassure audiences that venues are following Covid-19 guidelines.
“See It Safely’, created by UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre, will allow theatres to display a badge to indicate that the building is following the latest guidance.
Theatres will also receive further training and can also sign up to an additional set of ticketing principles, guaranteeing audiences an exchange, credit voucher or refund if they are forced to cancel.
Theatres remain largely closed across the UK, with only a small number operating with vastly reduced audience numbers due to social distancing.
Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said he hoped the scheme would give audiences “peace of mind to return to the live theatre that they love”.
He said: “Going to the theatre is a very organised and civilised affair mainly due to its ticketed nature (it is simple for venues to track and trace exactly who is in the building and when) and well-trained front of house staff are on hand throughout the experience to ensure that everyone is considerate and complies with the safety measures in place.
“One-way systems and strict entrance and exit areas make our venues easily adaptable to the implementation of new safety measures, such as temperature checks, contactless payments, face masks and hand sanitiser stations. There is also minimal face to face and social contact as most audiences face forward.
“We have a number of challenges to meet before the majority of our theatres can open but we are confident that, from a safety perspective, audiences and our workforce can be reassured that every measure is being addressed and we look forward to rolling out the scheme and welcoming our audiences back.
“It is very encouraging that there have been no reported cases of Covid in any of our venues that have opened so far.”
SOLT president Kenny Wax recently announced the return of his production SIX to the West End. It will be moving from the Arts Theatre to the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue to allow for more space for social distancing.
He said he is “delighted” to welcome audiences back and added that “performances are selling extremely well”.
“There is clearly huge pent up demand for live theatre and it is wonderful to give audiences something to look forward to as we head into the Christmas season.”
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the Bridge and Southwark Playhouse are among those venues to have opened in London.
With additional reporting by Press Association