We have taken the decision that face coverings must now be worn at all times within RSC buildings and theatres, including in the auditorium.

In view of the new government advice announced over the weekend, we have considered the impact on our staff, company and audiences and introduced mandatory face coverings.

The only exceptions to this are for those who are exempt from wearing face coverings, those under 11 years old, and when eating or drinking during your visit. If you are not exempt, then refusal to comply with this new arrangement will mean you will not be permitted access to our buildings.

These new arrangements take effect from Tuesday 30 November and will remain in place in line with government review periods, currently set at three weeks from now. 

two people in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium wearing masks
Photo by Sam Allard, Fisher Studios © RSC Browse and license our images

We will refund tickets if bookers are unable to comply with this requirement, please contact our Box Office and we will make the necessary arrangements.

Our ventilation systems, especially within the Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium, are extremely effective, so you shouldn't feel concerned about the presence of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Everyone is welcome and our intention is to provide as comfortable and safe a visit as possible.

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering please advise a member of the team upon arrival. You may be asked to wear a discrete badge to notify other members of the team that you are exempt.

We have taken this step for a number of reasons, most importantly in response to significant audience feedback. We also need to consider the practicalities of the new government guidance, for example our shop is positioned in the busy front of house area and the new regulation means that face coverings are now legally required in retail spaces. 

We are also concerned about the increased risk to our performing companies and colleagues and want to do all we can to ensure we do not find ourselves in a position of having to cancel performances and disappoint audiences.

Thank you for your continued support at this time and we look forward to welcoming you to the RSC soon.