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Oliver Dowden Says Theatre Without Social Distancing Will Come 'November at the Earliest'

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Outdoor theatre has been permitted since 11 July, and indoor shows with social distancing measures will be able to resume on 1 August.

Oliver Dowden Says Theatre Without Social Distancing Will Come 'November at the Earliest'

Oliver Dowden, the UK Culture Secretary, has provided more insight on when indoor performances will be able to occur without social distancing guidelines, WhatsOnStage reports.

Outdoor theatre has been permitted since 11 July, and indoor shows with social distancing measures will be able to resume on 1 August.

"We can only give the guidance to resume performances without social distancing when it is safe to do so," Dowden told BBC Radio 4 this morning. "The Prime Minister has indicated that will be November at the earliest."

This could cause an issue for the holiday pantomime season, as they would need to begin preparing before November to get their productions mounted by the holiday season.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, pantomime producer Michael Harrison have the government a deadline of August 3 to confirm 'no earlier than' dates for the reopening of theatres. He said that theatres require this time frame to offer "absolutely the shortest time to get the production process going".

"We will make the decision as rapidly as we can," Dowden said. "But given where we are globally, and the risks around the world, this virus is far from defeated and I don't want to give people false hope."

"When it comes to November we will look again," he said.

Read more on WhatsOnStage.


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