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Friday, January 21, 2022

Europe’s theaters return to a future with Covid restrictions

Other places on the continent, where the pace of cancellations and restrictions are accelerating since last month, may not be as secure as they are. Latvia was one of the first countries to impose new restrictions on cultural life when it ordered the closure of concert venues from late October as part of nationwide isolation. Since then, many other countries and regions have introduced new, albeit different, restrictions. This month, partial isolation was introduced in the Netherlands, which allowed performances to continue in front of a seated audience, but forced other establishments such as bars and restaurants to close by 8 p.m. Austria initially introduced isolation for the unvaccinated, which included a ban on them from attending cultural events. before announcing nationwide closings a few days later.

Some establishments that remain open in Europe are introducing additional security measures even without government orders. In Berlin, concert venues can operate at full capacity, provided that attendees show proof that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative and wear masks. But Sarah Bohler, spokeswoman for Sophiensaele, the city’s theater, said her venue would also require a negative test in addition to proof of vaccination or recovery. The theater expected city officials to demand such a measure “in a week or two anyway,” she said, adding that it’s better to stay ahead of the trend.

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There is one place where new restrictions on cultural life are unlikely to emerge: the UK, where ruling lawmakers have been declaring to live with the virus since July. Over the past month, the number of new cases of coronavirus averaged about 40,000 a day, and one of the government’s top scientific advisers said this week that the country “has almost reached herd immunity.”

In England, theater and opera goers are not required to wear masks or show proof of vaccination. Instead, each establishment can define its own requirements. Many West End theaters require proof of vaccination, and most encourage audiences to wear masks, but compliance requirements vary.

This month’s revival of Cabaret, starring Eddie Redmayne at the Playhouse Theater, went further than other London shows, requiring attendees to test negative to enter. The Ambassador Theater Group, which owns the auditorium, said in a statement that the decision was behind the “intimacy of the production,” in which the audience sits close to the actors. But no other theaters followed suit.

Composer and stage impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber told the BBC on Tuesday that he would be delighted to provide masks and proof of vaccinations at six of his cinemas in London. “If it was necessary to keep our theaters open without social distancing, I think it’s a very small price to pay,” he said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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