As we count down to the next announcement on the further easing of lockdown restrictions, businesses are doing all they can to make us feel safe whilst we enjoy all of the places we have missed for so long. Whilst the decision still remains uncertain in terms of how soon the next phase of easing restrictions will be rolled-out, today we’re taking a look at how the people and places of Leeds are working hard to keep us all safe in the meantime, as well as what we can look forward to in the hopefully not too distant future!
Leeds’ theatres are one of the venues whose reopening has been the most anticipated. With the performance and arts industry facing a monumental blow as a result of the pandemic, it goes without saying that theatre-fanatics and annual visitors alike are eager to be able to support them properly when they re-open for good.
At Leeds Grand Theatre, the doors are officially set to reopen on June 17th, welcoming audiences back cautiously but of course, with delight! The first performance which will be on show at the Grand is the well-loved Northern Ballet’s Swan Lake; what’s more fitting for the reopening of the theatre than the most famous ballet in the world? Swan Lake will be performed at the Grand from June 17th – 26th, and will be closely followed by yet another performance in July; the musical SIX will take to the stage.
Over at Leeds Playhouse, we can expect to see performances much sooner. The Damned United took to the stage on the 10th June and audiences will enjoy it in a socially distanced manner. The performance will run until June 12, and shortly after Leeds Playhouse will be putting on ‘A Little Night Music’, a musical which will be performed in the Quarry Theatre from the 26th June – 17th July.
To keep eager audiences safe in the theatre, Leeds Playhouse is implementing a number of safety precautions which are set to stay for the foreseeable future. The precautions include reduced capacity and socially distanced seating, staggered arrival times and temperature checks, additional staff assistance, additional cleaning and PPE, sanitising stations, etc.
For families, sport and leisure facilities have been sorely missed, and swimming has been an activity which has left a lot of people unsure of just how safe it is at this point. But, we can assure you that swimming is well and truly allowed and sport and leisure facilities are doing all that they can to ensure the safety of all water babies! At numerous swimming facilities across Leeds, such as John Charles Centre, punters are welcomed back to enjoy the swimming facilities safely by pre-booking one of their limited-capacity swim slots and by changing at home and arriving activity-ready due to reduced capacity in changing rooms.
When it comes to getting around the city, be reassured that Leeds’ public transport has your back for safety and hygiene. First Bus’ handy app allows you to use their ‘space checker’ feature, which means you can check how busy the bus is before it arrives! Using a simple traffic light system of green, yellow and red, it’s easy to pick a bus and route that is less crowded and ultimately, a lot safer; the feature can be accessed through their app or on their website. They’ve got your back!
For the music lovers, our beloved live music events are slowly but surely making their way back into our ears, and let’s be honest, our hearts! At venues such as Hyde Park Book Club, Brudenell Social Club, Belgrave and more, seated and limited capacity gigs have been taking place whilst we wait for further updates on any potential easing of restrictions. All venues are making music lovers feel safe and welcome with distanced seating, or masked standing, reduced crowd capacity, sanitising stations, and even outdoor live music wherever possible!
Images: Leeds Grand Theatre, First Bus, John Charles Centre for Sport