Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has confirmed that the government’s new coronavirus curfew of 10 pm doesn’t apply to cinemas and theatres.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced new measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, a decision which was reached after a number of scientific advisers warned cases could reach 49,000 a day. While Johnson is keen to avoid a second nationwide lockdown, he has instead announced the decision to force pubs, bars and restaurants in England to close at 10 pm every night in order to slow down the spread of the virus.
However, the new regulations, which are designed to prevent alcohol-fuelled breaches of social distancing rules, will not apply cinemas and theatres it has been confirmed. Now, Oliver Dowden has taken to social media to explain that the curfew will apply to a host of different “hospitality and leisure sectors including casinos” but moved to clarify that the restriction “would not apply to theatres and cinemas where performances may run over the 10 pm deadline.”
Dowden also explained that the exemptions cannot extend to other sectors of the performing arts which also includes choirs. “None of these restrictions will be in place longer than necessary & we will keep them under review,” he added.
Speaking about the measures, which could be in place for the next six months, Boris Johnson said: “We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real and I’m sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we’ve reached a perilous turning point.”
See the full statement, below.
To confirm today’s announcements— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) September 22, 2020
Unfortunately we cannot proceed with pilots with 1000 fans & the wider 1st Oct reopening with socially distanced fans
I understand the seriousness of the impact of this & am working with sports &govt colleagues on how we support them
2. Business Events— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) September 22, 2020
Likewise business events are not permitted to reopen in a covid secure way with social distancing from 1st Oct as was our ambition
This is an important sector & a large employer & I recognise the importance of getting this sector back on its feet quickly
3. 10pm closing time— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) September 22, 2020
This will apply across a range of hospitality and leisure sectors including casinos
It will not apply to theatres and cinemas where performances may run over the 10pm deadline
4. Rule of 6 changes— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) September 22, 2020
Due to the rapid spread due to social contact, I’m afraid we can no longer permit exemptions for indoor grassroots sport & amateur performing arts and choirs
None of these restrictions will be in place longer than necessary & we will keep them under review