Indoor theatre with social distancing can officially begin again from 15 August, the government has confirmed after the move to permit socially distanced indoor theatre was delayed by two weeks after an initial 1 August date.
Although this is seemingly good news and welcomed as progress towards people being able to enjoy Theatre as normal, it is likely that most venues will still find it financially impossible to do so.
Boris Johnson warned that the government "will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus". Easing measures will not yet apply in areas of England which are under additional restrictions because of high infection rates.
The return of indoor performances counts as stage four of Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden's reopening plan, though it is unlikely that stage five will occur before November, according to a recent interview. As a result, many theatres have had to cancel their festive shows while uncertainty remains.
The news means indoor socially distanced shows, including the Bridge Theatre's new season, the Southwark Playhouse revival of The Last Five Years and the world premiere of the Sleepless musical, based on Sleepless in Seattle, as well as The Mousetrap in the West End.
Rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are being implemented separately.