Mask wearing and Covid passports are set to be implemented in theatres and live music venues as Omicron cases rise.

Venues are worried the rising cases could put people off going out in the run up to Christmas.

Boris Johnson has advised people to work from home and has made mask wearing mandatory for most public indoor areas, such as shops, cinemas and theatres starting from Monday.

The NHS Covid pass will also be mandatory to access indoor and outdoor venues where large crowds gather.

This includes unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, as well as any venue with more than 10,000 people.

Read also: Walk-in jabs at Kassam Stadium get suspended

Oxford venues are adapting to make going out and enjoying live music and theatre safer.

Louise Chantal, joint director and CEO at Oxford Playhouse said: “We very much feel that the Oxford Playhouse was doing everything that we could to keep the audience safe, so we had already brought in mandatory mask wearing. But what this does is make it so much easier to implement.”

“We are waiting to see if there are further guidelines for Covid passports, there is no indication that venues of our size will have to introduce Covid passports but if we do have to, we have all the planning and infrastructure in place to set it up very quickly.”

Oxford Mail: Staff at Oxford Playhouse are happy to be back with live theatre. Picture: Ed Nix.

The theatre already feel mask wearing, cleaning and their ventilation and air conditioning is helping to make the venue a safe space.

The theatre has also increased the number of socially distanced seats in shows. Originally the theatre had five shows available with socially distanced seating, but it was so popular more tickets have had to be made available.

Read also: What do Oxford commuters and shoppers think of Covid rules?

She added: “If people do feel that they are unsure or do not want to wear a mask, then we will honour refunds to their accounts, but the majority of audience members so far have said they still want to come.”

Mrs Chantal said audiences are “absolutely loving” the new Robin Hood Pantomime, which will be running until January 9.

Paul Williams, general manager of the Bullingdon in Oxford wants to reassure its customers that the venue is a safe place to visit. But he is concerned some people will stop going out as cases rise in the city.

He said: “We have always had covid passes and lateral flow tests because it protects the staff. However, I am concerned there will be a lot more people who do not want to go out and fear they will catch Covid before Christmas.”

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here