“We’re absolutely devastated” – Theatr Clwyd forced to cancel pantomime due to introduction of new social distancing measures
Bosses at Mold based Theatre Clwyd have been forced to cancel its pantomime from Boxing Day onwards after new social distancing measures were announced by the Welsh government.
The new measures being introduced from 6am on December 26, are “to help keep Wales safe,” First Minister Mark Drakeford said during a press conference today.
There will be a general requirement of “2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.”
The panto, Beauty and The Beast began on Friday 19 November and was scheduled to run through to Saturday 15 January.
Given the spread of the omicron variant, it is not known when the new social distancing measures will be relaxed.
A statement on the Theatr Clwyd website says: “Moving from a sold out performance to one where barely a quarter of those booked would be able to watch leaves us in an impossible position.”
“We also, of course, put our audiences, acting company and team’s safety above all.”
“With that in mind we’re absolutely devastated that we’ll no longer be able to share these shows, all of which we’ve worked so hard to bring to our amazing and loyal audiences.”
“These closures have arrived at a time when we and the rest of the creative industries were starting to get back on our feet following the distruption of the last 20 months and their impact will be devastating for all of us – our audiences, our actors, creatives and backstage teams, our community companies and our staff. ”
“The thing that’s keeping us going right now are the heartwarming messages of support and solidarity that we’ve already received and we know that together we will get through this.”
The statement adds: “We’ll be getting in touch with everyone affected to share our next steps. We will, as always, offer audiences the options of a full refund, tickets on credit with the theatre to use in the future, or making a donation.”
“This is an incredibly busy time for the theatre and with such a huge number of people to get in touch with we’re asking your patience while we process all bookings. There is no need to contact our box office – please bear with us, we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way.
“This new form of coronavirus could infect large numbers of people in Wales, disrupting daily lives and businesses and could cause an increase in the number of people who need hospital care in the coming weeks.
“We will do everything we can to protect people’s health and livelihoods in Wales – this means taking early action to try and control its spread.
“We are changing the rules for businesses and some public spaces, where lots of different people mix daily and issuing strong and clear advice to help people stay safe in their own private homes and when meeting others.”
From Boxing Day, the alert level two measures will mean:
- A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
- The rule of six will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
- All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
- Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
- Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.
- There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.
The Welsh Government say the will not be making new rules about mixing in people’s private homes, including gardens, in holiday accommodation or meeting outdoors. Instead guidance will be issued to help people stay safe.
To help you stay safe in your own home, Welsh Government “strongly advise” everyone follows these five measures:
- Limit the number of people visiting your home.
- If people are visiting, make sure they take a lateral flow test in the morning before the visit.
- Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
- Space out any visits.
- And don’t forget about social distancing and washing your hands.
There will be a separate new offence for large gatherings – more than 30 people indoors or 50 people outdoors – in private homes and gardens. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com