COVID status will need to be produced by audience members attending the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford from today.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced that, as of Wednesday December 15, all audience members over the age of 18 attending a performance of ‘The Magician’s Elephant’ in the RST will be required to provide proof of their double vaccination status or evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken in the preceding 48 hours before being able to enter the building, unless otherwise exempt.
It will apply to those attending performances only and not to people visiting the RSC’s Rooftop Restaurant, shop or box office outside of show times.
Vaccination status checks will take place at the bag check point outside the building.
While the new legislation around covid passports relates to unseated auditoriums with a capacity of more than 500, the RSC says it wants everyone to feel as confident as possible when visiting the theatre over the holiday period.
It remains compulsory for everyone visiting the RST buildings to wear a face covering while moving around the site and throughout the duration of performances except from those who are exempt, those under 12 years of age, or when eating or drinking in the building.
RSC executive director, Catherine Mallyon, said: ‘Whilst we are disappointed that the pandemic has again reached a point at which there is a requirement for increased measures, we understand the need for this latest legislation and are well prepared for this latest update, which is designed to slow the spread of the new variant Omicron.
“Our continued priority is to create the safest and most comfortable environment for people to work in and visit. Whilst, as an indoor seated venue, we remain legally exempt from new legislation around covid passports, we want to do all we can to keep everyone safe and ensure that we are able to continue to perform and serve our audiences as we enter the holiday period.
“We thank audiences for their cooperation, as ever, as we continue to navigate these uncertain and ever-changing times.”