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Northern Ireland Theatres Prepare to Reopen With Capacity Restrictions Under New Government Rules

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Social distancing of 1m (3ft) will remain in place, causing many theatres to struggle with selling enough tickets to make a profit.

Venues in Northern Ireland are preparing to reopen at limited capacity after the government decided that theatres and concert halls will be allowed to reopen on 26 July, BBC reports.

Social distancing of 1m (3ft) will remain in place, causing many theatres to struggle with selling enough tickets to make a profit.

"Our theatre is only a 200 seater and to make it viable we need to be getting a full house," said Oliver Corr, arts development officer for Craic Theatre and Arts Centre in Coalisland, County Tyrone.

He is also concerned that the rules may change at the last minute.

"If a show is cancelled or if the restrictions are extended last minute, it's money we would find hard to recover," he said.

Corr said if social distancing remained in place in theatres in the long term "it's going to have a devastating effect financially for the whole sector".

He believes that a potential solution would be for audience members to prove they have been fully vaccinated before being allowed into a theatre.

"If we can't open safely and fully, we need support because we're going to lose the arts sector," Corr said. "The arts sector here is a very important and vital part of the economy but people don't seem to believe that it generates huge amounts of revenue every year."

Read more on BBC.


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