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Covid roadmap welcomed by Liverpool arts venues

Liverpool arts organisations have given a cautious welcome to the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of Covid restrictions.

Indoor entertainment venues including museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and cinemas are expected to open from mid-May onwards as outlined in the 68-page document which Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed in the House of Commons yesterday.

But he also warned the date of May 17 for ‘step 3’ of the lifting of lockdown restrictions would be a ‘by the earliest’ and would depend on four tests being met – including the continued rollout of the vaccination programme, any surge in hospital admissions and spikes caused by new coronavirus variants.

Theatres, halls and cinemas will only be able to operate at up to half-capacity until all restrictions on indoor gatherings are lifted which is hoped to be around midsummer’s day, June 21. Although it is not yet clear what ongoing measures in the way of social distancing might be required after that date.

Outdoor performances with reduced capacity will also be allowed to resume as part of step 3.

A spokesman for Royal Court Liverpool said today: "We're very excited now we've got a roadmap and we can start planning the rest of the year.

"It's great news and we can't wait to get everyone back in the building enjoying themselves."

Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse has tweeted: “We're happy to see steps published towards re-opening and look forward to welcoming audiences back again, even if we have to wait a little longer.”

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic says it is 'reflecting' on the announcement and in discussion about its future plans.

Meanwhile National Museums Liverpool has confirmed it plans reopen the Walker Art Gallery with the John Moores Painting Prize – which is currently available to view as an online tour, while the delayed AI: More Than Human exhibition will be the first exhibition on show at the World Museum.

All Liverpool venues, including National Museums Liverpool and Tate sites, theatres and the Philharmonic Hall, have been closed since December 30 when the region was placed under Tier 3 restrictions which were followed by the third national lockdown at the start of 2021.


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