Entertainment

Government to unveil timeline for events and arts reopening next week

Some theatres have already closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government will next week announce a timeline for the reopening of the events and arts sector, Boris Johnson has said.

The announcement came as the country’s pubs and cinemas prepared to open their doors on Saturday.

Theatres and concert halls are also able to reopen but not for live performances.

Newcastle Theatre Royal job cuts
Theatres are not allowed to host live performance (Newcastle Theatre Royal/PA)

Speaking during a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said he was aware the creative industry was “anxious” about when it would be able to “unlock”.

Mr Johnson said an announcement next week would deliver a roadmap explaining how venues and businesses could reopen “as Covid-secure as we can possibly make them”.

Responding to a question from a member of the public, he said: “The events industry, the arts industry, the theatre sector – all of them have had an incredibly tough time and I know how difficult it has been.

“What we have tried to do is to support every sector of the UK economy, jobs, incomes, to the tune of £120 billion.

“I know that particularly in the events and arts industry people are anxious about when it is going to be their turn to unlock, and that is why I have announced tonight that we will next week be setting out a timetable so that we can get you all preparing and under way and make sure we are working together to get you and all businesses as Covid-secure as we can possibly make them.”

Coronavirus – Wed Jul 1, 2020
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Mr Johnson said he wanted to “get the disease down so the events and arts industry really have a chance of recovering”.

He added: “But you can also take it that we will be doing everything we reasonably can to support sport, the arts, the theatre, the events world in the interim.”

Some theatres have already closed amid the pandemic, including the Nuffield Southampton Theatres, making some 80 employees redundant.

This week some 1,500 artists and acts signed a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for a roadmap for the live music industry, after venues were shuttered in March.

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