Major Greater Manchester theatre reintroduces mandatory face masks as Omicron variant spreads

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 7th December 2021

A major theatre in Greater Manchester has been praised – and criticised – by members of the public for reintroducing its mandatory face mask policy.

The Lowry in Salford has made the decision to make face masks compulsory inside its theatre and gallery.

They say it’s ‘in light of the Omicron variant & rise of positive COVID-19 cases’.

There are now more than 300 confirmed Omicron cases in the UK.

The Government has recently reintroduced mandatory face masks in settings like retail and on public transport.

The Lowry at Salford Quays. Credit: Unsplash

But it’s not yet a legal requirement to wear them in hospitality venues, including theatres, gig venues and cinemas.

The Government has advised: “You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places that are not listed above, which are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet” – which seems to fit the brief of a theatre.


The Lowry’s face mask rule will come into action from tomorrow, Wednesday December 8.

After sharing the news on Twitter, many praised the arts venue.

One person replied: “Excellent decision. Thank you @The_Lowry”


On Facebook, one person commented: “Quite agree. We were with you a couple of weeks ago and wore masks (only about 10 per cent of audience did). Would have felt more comfortable if everyone had.”

Another said: “Brilliant decision. Cannot believe so many didn’t wear mask when I visited the other week. I am far more likely to go back to the theatre. Thank you.”

Someone else said: “Well done. For those of us with vulnerable relatives at home this is very caring. Even if fit and healthy and vaccinated this is a horrendous virus as I know to my cost. Thank you.”

There were a few critics of the decision to reintroduce face masks though.

Read more: ‘Utterly childish’ Sainsbury’s shoppers delighted by rude-looking cushion cover


One person wrote: “Ridiculous and cowardly decision, dragging us back into the Covid nightmare, I thought the vaccine was our way back to normality?”

Another said: “I assume you will refund tickets on patrons who wish not to comply given this is not the message from the government’?”

The Lowry’s upcoming theatre shows include SIX The Musical, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, and John Bishop: Right Here Right Now.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons