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COVID Secure Protocols

Updated 18 June 2021

How are we proposing to keep our audiences safe?

Our audiences, artists and staff are at the centre of everything we do. We can't wait to welcome you back to our open-air performances, and to ensure everyone is safe we have created a raft of safety protocols.

We’re following the official government guidance on working safely and liaising with local authorities. We're also putting into practice the invaluable experience of our open-air performances back in August 2020.  There are also separate, rigorous protocols for  artists and staff that will be used throughout rehearsals and into performances.

As the UK slowly progresses through the Government's proposed 'roadmap' of reopening, we appreciate that things may change. As they do we will update these protocols accordingly.

Our audience measures at a glance: 

  • Outdoor event in fresh air
  • Reduced audience numbers
  • No access to the site until at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time
  • Clear signage and one-way system where applicable
  • Seating blocks placed at least 1m+ apart
  • Face coverings and necessary PPE for our Front of House & Steward Teams
  • We recommend wearing face coverings when moving around the venue
  • Hand sanitiser stations for patrons and protective equipment for staff
  • Regular and thorough cleaning of toilets and seating
  • E-tickets to be issued
  • Onsite bar will be PRE-ORDER only
  • Contactless payments - no cash handling
  • No picnics allowed in the performance site



  • We strongly recommend that you book your tickets in advance via our website. We have a limited number of seats per performance, so please check the website for latest availability.
  • Our Box Office team are currently operating on reduced staff numbers, so we request you do not call the Box Office to make your booking.
  • We ask that you book only for members of your own household, or members of your support bubble household.
  • No paper tickets will be issued. Your e-confirmation, sent to the email you provide at the time of booking, will act as your ticket. You can print this off or show it on your phone. If you are not able to do either of these, please contact [email protected]
  • On arrival at the venue, our Front of House Manager will meet you and ask for your name and the size of your party. This will be checked off against our list.
  • Your seats will be allocated on arrival and our Front of House Team will safely show you to them.


  • We ask that if you, or any of your party, meet any of the following criteria on the day of the performance, that you do not attend:
      • In the last 10 days, have developed a new, continuous cough, lost your sense of smell or taste, or had a high temperature.
      • In the last 10 days, have tested positive for Covid-19;
      • In the last 10 days, have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
      • In the last 10 days, have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace system and told to self-isolate.
  • You may be asked to confirm these questions when you arrive on site.
  • We ask that you arrive no more than 45 minutes before your allotted performance.
  • When you arrive for your scheduled performance, you may need to queue. Please observe the social distancing markers we have put out at the venue, and wear your face mask when queuing, and inside the building.
  • There will be a specific one-way route throughout the venue, both inside and out. Please follow these one-way routes.
  • Ideally audiences should walk, cycle or use a private vehicle to travel to our venue. If unable to avoid public transport patrons must wear a mask, sanitise hands after touching surfaces and maintain good social distancing. Off-peak travel times have been taken into account with regards to scheduling.


Everyone aged over 16 years and over will need to individually check in using the NHS Covid-19 app. There will be an alternative check-in option if you are not able use the app. To save time at arrival please download the app in advance. Please refer to further details below.


  • Seating will be set out in advance, in socially distanced blocks. Seating will be allocated according to your booking by our Front of House Manager.
  • You may only sit with your household or support bubble. Please note, for larger households/bubbles you may not be able to sit altogether.
  • To accommodate bubbles as much as possible, seating will be set out in pairs and single seats. There will be some set out in 4s and 3s as well.
  • Our Front of House Team will show you to your seats.
  • Seating is NOT to be move under any circumstances.
  • Do NOT bring your own seating.
  • No picnics in the seating/performance areas
  • We request that you remain in your seat once taken, and only move when instructed to do so either by a Front of House Steward, or if you need to visit the toilet.
  • There will be one interval.


We ask that once you have been shown to our seats you remain here for the duration of the performance, with the following exceptions:

  • Visiting the toilet
  • Going to the onsite bar to collect your drinks
  • Leaving the venue

We recommend wearing face coverings when moving around the venue, but you do not need to keep these on when seated.


For events where social distancing guidelines and Covid-19 related restrictions will be in place, as set out by the UK government, the following conditions are applicable, in addition to the remaining terms and conditions set out below:

By purchasing a ticket to one of Guildford Shakespeare Company's outdoor summer shows, you agree that you are only booking for yourself and members of your own household or appropriate support bubble to attend, in line with the guidance and legislation set out by the UK government in relation to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.


Should you (and/or your party) be required to ISOLATE due to contracting Covid-19 or following notification from NHS Test & Trace;  or should GSC need to cancel/abandon the event/performance due to UK Government restrictions related to COVID-19 being enforced, GSC are looking in to the possibility of creating a film of the performance. Updates on this will be posted here.

In the event of an abandoned or cancelled performance due to further circumstances outside of the Management’s control (also see weather policy below), tickets will be honoured for another performance in the run, subject to availability. Details will be given to ticket holders at the time of the announcement.


  • To minimise queuing, drinks will be available to pre-order online in advance. Bookers will be contacted with further information about this.
  • We request that you only bring with you the minimum of personal belongings that you require for this 150-minute outdoor performance.
  • Do bring a bottle of water with you.
  • Toilets will be available on site, with hand sanitiser available. Clear 2m queuing markers will be in place and we will carefully and safely manage any movement of people.


  • Due to the requirement to ensure social distancing for our audiences, we regret we cannot allow picnics inside the Bandstand area of the Castle Gardens, or Racks Close.
  • Should you wish to picnic in other parts of the Castle Gardens or nearby green spaces, you may do so at your own discretion and we request that you follow whatever guidance is in place at the time for the general public.


We are supporting the NHS Test & Trace programme. The UK Government has asked organisations to do this in order to keep our communities safe. This means that if you attend our live performances we'll collect your data and some information about you, so that we can help the NHS Test & Trace service in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • In accordance with UK Government protocols, we will collect your booking data, so that we can take part in the NHS Test and Trace service and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you start to display symptoms of Covid-19 (a new, continuous cough, lost sense of smell or taste, or a high temperature), we advise you to book a test for Covid-19 via the Government’s website. If you test positive, you will need to inform the NHS Test and Trace team that you have attended the theatre, when they contact you.
  • They will then collect data from us about other audience members who attended this performance, and inform them.
  • You can read more about NHS Test and Trace and our data policy here

How does NHS Test & Trace work, and how is GSC handling my data?


GSC C19 Protocol OUTDOOR Performances (Audiences) - 14.04.2021 (pdf)

If you have any questions, please feel free to email [email protected]

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