The latest relaxing of COVID restrictions has seen arts venues across Britain opening their doors after a second lockdown that, for many parts of the country, has lasted a gruelling six months. With cities like Manchester and London last autumn going into what was termed “Tier 4 restrictions” – basically do not leave home except for essential business and do not even think about leaving town – many Brits won’t have seen the inside of a pub for months, let alone the inside of a theatre, most of which shut up shop in March 2020.

Hamiltonis waiting to re-open in August. Photo © Victoria Palace

So, this week has been cause for some celebration. However, it’s not quite as simple as all that, with the rules and regulations varying, depending on in which part of the UK you live. For example, from this week in England, arts venues are allowed to re-open if they agree to enforce a one-metre social distancing rule and restrict capacity to no more than 50% (and in addition there’s a cap of...