In light of the recent government advice about Covid, and taking into account the response to this news from our staff team, our performers and our audiences, we have taken the decision to introduce mandatory face coverings for audiences visiting the theatre from Friday 3 December.
Since the theatres reopened this summer we have been encouraging audiences to wear masks during their visit, and with the recent change of rules mandating masks for shopping and for public transport, we feel this is the next step forward to protect each other during these challenging winter months.
This decision will be reviewed alongside the government review of Covid measures on the 19 December.
All ticket holders for this period will be emailed with this change of advice and we will ask all audience members to wear a mask when they are inside our building and seated watching the performances.
The only exceptions are for those who are exempt from wearing face coverings, those under 12 years of age, and when people are eating or drinking in the building.
If audiences arrive at the theatre and do not have a mask, our Front of House teams will be happy to provide one.
Any audience members booked for this period who are not happy to comply with the requirement to wear face coverings (unless exempt) are able to contact the Box Office and we will offer a credit or refund.
This continues our commitment to prioritising the health and safety of our staff, performers and audiences above all else.
Chief Executive Dan Bates said
‘All our staff and companies working backstage remain socially distanced wherever possible, wear masks at all times and complete two lateral flow tests each week in order to keep backstage safe.
During the Governments Events Research programme in April this year, our team at Sheffield Theatres learnt so much about safe working systems during the pandemic and adding this measure to have audience wearing masks during the performances will add another level of safety, coupled with the extremely effective ventilation systems we have inside all our theatres.
We know that everyone has missed our Christmas productions and we want to ensure that as many people as possible feel safe to visit the theatre this season, and knowing that everyone is wearing a mask will offer more comfort to everyone.’