Equity asks venues and producers to enforce mask-wearing for audiences

Equity are calling on venues and producers to enforce mask-wearing among audience members.

In a statement signed by General Secretary Paul W Fleming and President Maureen Beattie, we are also urging engagers to "maintain the strongest COVID protocols backstage" and encouraging all members to make sure they are fully vaccinated if they are able. 

We have made this statement in light of rising cases of the Omicron variant, which pose a potential threat to live performance. The union's position was agreed upon by Council – our governing body, consisting of elected members – in a meeting held on Tuesday 7 December, 2021.

The full statement

“The new omicron variant of coronavirus threatens the fragile return of live performance in theatres, pubs, clubs and other venues across a critical Christmas season. The joy and togetherness of live performance is sorely needed in a dark winter after a tumultuous two years, and it’s critical that the industry is protected.

Equity urges all members to play their part in keeping this threat at bay by ensuring that they are fully vaccinated if they are able. 

Crucially, producers and venues must up the ante on the enforcement of mask wearing for audiences and maintain the strongest COVID protocols backstage to protect all those watching and working in live performance.

Theatre, variety, and live performance has been shown across the world to be safe when everyone plays their part in reducing transmission, both in taking responsibility and in enforcing proportionate rules.”

Paul W Fleming – General Secretary

Maureen Beattie – President