New Restrictions in Scotland and Wales and Financial Support available for Scotland, Wales and England

22 December 2021

New Restrictions in Scotland
From 05:00 on 26 December there will be a limit on attendance of 100 people at standing events indoors and 200 people at seated events indoors. In addition, from 05:00 on 27 December there will be a requirement for 1m social distancing.

These measures will be reviewed on 11 January 2022.

SOLT/UK Theatre issued a statement in response:
‘Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today of increased Covid measures for Scotland poses fresh challenges for our industry, especially coming at what is usually the most vital time of year for theatre box offices. Particularly devastating is the limiting of event capacity and the reintroduction of social distancing, which will make it impossible for the vast majority of theatres to operate without making a significant loss. Many will have no choice but to close, which will mean the immediate loss of work for freelance and casual staff. We welcome the Scottish Government’s allocation of new funding for affected businesses and call for it to be distributed as quickly as possible to those most in need in our industry. Theatre organisations will continue to need emergency aid into the New Year to help venues survive and protect our workforce’.
New Restrictions in Wales
From 06:00 on 26 December there will be a requirement for 2m social distancing and a return to the ‘rule of 6’ in theatres. We are awaiting the detailed guidance, including whether there will be any capacity caps that apply.

Rehearsals can continue in person, but with risk assessment and restrictions (limit of 30 & face coverings for example).

Detailed guidance on the above should be available tomorrow or Friday. We will be issuing a statement regarding the new measures in Wales and you will be able to read this here when available.


Financial Support in Scotland
Creative Scotland announced a new £21m fund, of which £10.2m will be delivered to cultural organisations, £2.8m will be delivered to supply chain organisations and £8m will be delivered to creative freelancers.

The freelancers fund opens at 2pm on Thursday 6 January 2022 and support of between £500 and £2000 per applicant is available.

Financial Support in Wales
The Welsh Government is making £5.25m available to assist Wales’ arts organisations, museums, libraries and independent cinemas through the winter months.

The purpose of this fund is to support organisations that are in genuine difficulty – at risk of closure or that jobs will be lost – unless further support is provided. This risk must be as a direct result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

The fund, which will cover the period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, opens for applications on Wednesday 12 January 2022 and applicants will need to have submitted an online application no later than the deadline of 5.00 pm on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

Financial Support in England
Yesterday the Chancellor announced a £30 million ‘top up’ to the CRF. We await detail on how this will be allocated and continue to work with DCMS to seek improvements to eligibility and delivery of the fund. You can read SOLT & UK Theatre’s response to the announcement here.

Change to self-isolation rules for positive cases in EnglandYou will have seen that the rules have changed today in England such that if you’ve tested positive or have symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 7 days instead of 10 days, if you get 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7– details are here.