Theaters In England Can Open At Full Capacity From July 19

Restrictions on audience numbers in cinemas are about to be lifted in England.


Restrictions on audience numbers in English theaters are set to be removed entirely on July 19. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that venues such as cinemas, nightclubs, bars, and music venues will be be allowed to operate at full capacity from that date.

While the final confirmation that restrictions will be lifted won't be given until July 12, it's almost certain to happen. Other changes to the country's COVID rules include the end of social distancing and the legal requirement to wear masks in shops and on public transport. These changes will affect England only, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have devolved governments that make their own laws regarding restrictions.

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The changes come at a time when COVID-19 infection rates are climbing quickly in the UK, due to the more infectious Delta variant. However, Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid argue that despite the rise in infections, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a far lower level than at other stages of the pandemic, thanks to the UK's successful vaccination program.

To date, 45.3 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine, while 33.7 million are fully vaccinated. When Johnson laid out his plans for the coming months back in February, he stated it was the hospitalization rate that would define when the final restrictions would be removed, as opposed to actual infections.

English theaters reopened in May, having been entirely closed since December. However, social distancing rules meant they have had to operate at massively reduced capacities since then.

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