'Another blow to our industry': Some uncertainty around what restrictions could mean for Cork pantos

A number of new restrictions will come into effect this weekend. 
'Another blow to our industry': Some uncertainty around what restrictions could mean for Cork pantos

Frank Mackey who plays Nanny Nellie in the Cork Opera House Panto Nanny Nellie's Adventures in Pantoland. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

There is some uncertainty around how pantos in Cork will proceed in the coming weeks following tonight’s announcement on the introduction of new restrictions to help reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.

From Monday, the Government has recommended that there should be no indoor events after 8pm.

For indoor events scheduled earlier in the day, attendance should be limited to 50% of venue capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is lower.

In a post on social media this evening, the Everyman theatre described the government announcement concerning an 8pm curfew for theatres as “another blow to our industry.”

They said: “Patrons who have booked tickets for our evening performances from Monday, 20 December to Sunday 30 January may be affected.

“We will be contacting these in the coming days in date order.

“If you’ve booked tickets to see this year’s panto, you don’t need to do anything – we’ll contact you with options for ways you can still enjoy this year’s show, Aladdin!” 

A spokesperson from Cork Opera House said that they are hopeful their panto programme can proceed and they will be contacting some patrons.

"Despite these new restrictions, Cork Opera House remains hopeful that its Panto programme can go ahead as planned and we hope to be in a position to confirm this following the weekend. In the meantime, we hope our patrons maintain the remarkable patience they have already shown. Cork Opera House Box Office will be in contact with patrons who have Panto tickets for Tuesday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 22 soon."

New restrictions 

A number of other restrictions are also due to come into effect from midnight on Sunday. 

These include:

All restaurants and bars, excluding takeaways or delivery services, must close at 8pm. Wedding receptions can take place after 8pm but with a capacity limit of 100 guests.

Attendance at all outdoor events should be limited to 50% of venue capacity or 5,000 people, whichever is lower.

Restricted movement advice for all close contacts will be enhanced. For those who have received a booster at least one week ago, they will have to restrict movement for five days and take three antigen tests. For those that have not yet received a booster, they must restrict their movement for ten days. The HSE will consider the best testing regime for people in this category.

All people arriving into the country from overseas will be required to have an antigen or PCR test in line with their vaccination or recovery status.

Finally, all passengers arriving in Ireland should now be advised to conduct antigen testing on a daily basis for a period of five consecutive days commencing on the day of arrival.

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