West End and London theatres to close on Wednesday until further notice
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
London will be placed under Tier 3 lockdown, it has been announced. Theatres across the capital will be forced to close starting on Wednesday. London's move into the third tier is expected to be reviewed on 23 December, just before Christmas, though it is unknown at this time whether shows will plan to go ahead in the event restrictions are moved back to Tier 2 next week. The review will be conducted one week earlier than the UK Government had previously pledged (reviews are generally conducted every 14 days).
Ticketholders will be contacted by their point of sale in the event of confirmed cancellations. Due to the uncertainty of whether shows will continue after Christmas, it is likely that refunds will only be granted for confirmed cancellations as shows reserve the right to continue under Tier 2 and Tier 1. Exchanges or credit notes in this regard (for unconfirmed cancellations) are on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular show or venue's policies.
Rest assured all refunds for performances confirmed to be cancelled will be honoured and will be processed at a minimum of 14 business days after a performance was due to take place. Exchanges and vouchers (or credit notes) will also be offered. Please do not contact your point of sale directly as this may overburden their customer service teams and affect their ability to process your refunds on time.
London theatres go into lockdown a week before Christmas
London will move into Tier 3 after a rise in cases across the city's boroughs, it has been confirmed. The toughest COVID-19 restriction level will see bars, pubs, restaurants, theatres, and entertainment venues close whilst shops will continue to remain open.
Despite many theatres taking extra measures to be COVID compliant and ensure the safety of its audiences, the UK Government is unwilling to make any exceptions like they did before last month's second nationwide lockdown ("Tier 4") where theatres were permitted to hold performances whilst in Tier 3.
Help support the arts during the season of giving
Many theatre owners, productions, actors, and employees will undoubtedly be saddened and outraged by the new lockdown, with the lack of assistance they received this past year fresh on their minds. It is unclear at this time whether the UK Government plans to offer compensation for theatres and theatre workers now that performances must cease until further notice.