Two of Tayside’s leading arts hubs have closed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and the Rep Theatre are temporarily closing their doors due to the outbreak of covid-19.
The decisions by both organisations have been made following the latest advice from the UK Government.
On Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people in the UK to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, stop all non-essential contact and travel, and work from home if they can.
The Rep is expected to be shut for the remainder of the season.
In a statement DCA management said the decision was “difficult”, adding that a forthcoming Douglas Gordon exhibition would be postponed.
We take the health & safety of our audiences, staff, freelance colleagues & partners very seriously therefore, following the UK Government announcement on Mon 16 Mar, we have taken the decision to temporarily close The Rep & cancel all public activities, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/tIi2JgNsq0
— Dundee Rep (@DundeeRep) March 17, 2020
A statement from the DCA reads: “In light of the latest advice from the government we have taken the difficult decision to close DCA to the public from Tuesday, March 17.
“We’re really sorry not to be welcoming you through our doors, but the well-being of our audiences and staff is our overriding concern.”
The centre also pleaded with customers not to ask for refunds.
The statement adds: “If you have booked for any activity that is cancelled we will be in touch to discuss this with you as soon as possible.
“Refunds are of course available but we would be incredibly grateful if you could support us in this challenging time by accepting credit to be spent at DCA in future instead.
We’ve taken the difficult decision to close DCA to the public from today: we hope to open our doors again very soon.
— DCA (@DCAdundee) March 17, 2020
“We will review bookings on a week-to-week basis so please don’t worry if you haven’t heard from us about something further in the future – we will be in touch once we know whether activity is going ahead.
“As we all face a challenging and uncertain time we want to thank you for your ongoing support and wish you the very best of health.”
A statement from Dundee Rep reads: “Following the UK Government announcement on Monday, March 16 2020 to step up measures to fight the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, reinforced by guidance from both the Scottish Government and UK Theatre/the Society of London Theatre, we have taken the decision to temporarily close Dundee Rep Theatre.
“We take the health and safety of our audiences, staff, freelance colleagues and partners very seriously and as part of the temporary closure, we have suspended all our public activities as an organisation including producing and presenting work, engage classes and Scottish Dance Theatre touring.”
Management say they “do not know” how long the closure will remain in place.
The statement adds: “We anticipate that the rest of our published season will now not take place.
“This is an incredibly complex and fast-moving situation and it is with a heavy heart that we have taken this decision but the safety of all the people we work with is our number one priority.
“We would like to thank our audiences and supporters for all the messages of support we have received during these uncertain times. As an arts charity, we depend on this support.”
All customers will be given refunds or ticket exchanges.
However the theatre asked customers for “patience and understanding” as they deal with a “large number of inquiries”.
Some customers have donated the value of their tickets to the theatre itself
The statement reads: “We recognise this is an incredibly worrying time for our audiences and that you will be concerned about your family and friends as well as having very real considerations about your income in the days and weeks ahead.
“If you feel able to do so, we are asking audiences who have purchased tickets with us to consider opting for the ticket value to be credited to your account, rather than refunded.
“Some of our patrons have already taken the kind decision to donate the value of their tickets to us.
“As with many areas of our economy, there are real viability issues for the arts as a result of the coronavirus and we want to ensure we can continue to create and present the work you love when we open to the public again.”
As of Monday afternoon 1,543 people had contracted covid-19 across the UK. In Scotland the figure sits at 171.
It comes after plans were revealed to expand testing for the virus across Scottish communities.
However people with minor symptoms will not be routinely tested. The advice for those who are not severely ill is to remain at home for seven days.
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