Keeping You Safe

We have been granted the use of Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. The mark certifies that we are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of our staff and audiences.

After many months of closure, we look forward to opening our doors to the public again on Mon 17 May, if the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions continues as planned.

Bristol Old Vic is committed to keeping everyone safe and secure throughout their visit. To ensure we can do this we are:

  • Collecting all visitors’ information to facilitate NHS Test and Trace
  • Creating spaces in which it is easy to socially distance
  • Increasing the volume and intensity of cleaning of all surfaces and contact points across our building
  • Creating a one-way system and putting up directional signage
  • Creating socially-distanced queuing for toilets and other areas
  • Providing table service in our Bar & Café
  • Providing contactless ordering and payment for all products
  • Issuing e-tickets as standard to help reduce queues and minimise contact

We are also taking the same safety-focused approach in all other areas of our business including performance and rehearsal situations.

We ask all customers to:

  • Wear a face covering inside the building when not eating or drinking, unless exempt
  • Follow signage and instructions from staff
  • Attend in groups no larger than 6 individuals or 2 households
  • Regularly wash your hands and use the hand sanitiser provided throughout the building
  • Maintain a distance from others when moving around the building of at least two meters
  • Bring minimal belongings as there will be no cloakroom facilities
  • Provide basic contact details for NHS Test and Trace on arrival, preferably by using the NHS COVID-19 app (iOS /Android), if you have a device that will run it

Please do not attend Bristol Old Vic if you:

  • believe you may be infected with COVID-19;
  • have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
  • have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days;
  • have arrived in England in the last 14 days and are not covered by the exemption rules relating to self-isolation; or
  • have been instructed to self-isolate.

Book with Confidence

  • Read about our returns policy here.


  • Please be mindful of your travel arrangements to allow a good amount of time to arrive before any performance
  • We would advise you avoid travelling on busy public transport, if you can, to help reduce transmission risk
  • Visit our Getting Here page for further travel information

Using the Bar & Café or watching a show in the Bar & Café

While you’re with us there are a few things to keep in mind.

If you’re watching a show:

  • You must wear a mask for the duration of the performance
  • To maintain social distancing and to make it easier to book in a ‘bubble’ or household, we are selling tickets in clearly marked ‘bubbles’ in the auditorium and for whole tables in our Bar & Café. Shows will be priced per table.

If you’re using our Bar & Café:

  • All party members will be asked for basic contact details when you order, to aid NHS Test and Trace
  • We ask that you sit as a ‘bubble’ or household at your table
  • While you’re seated in our café to eat or drink, you do not need to wear a mask
  • For the safety of you, other customers and staff, you should wear a mask while moving around our building or visiting any of the toilets

Watching a show in the Theatre auditorium

If you’re with us to watch a show in the Theatre auditorium, there’s a few points to remember:

On arrival

  • Bristol Old Vic will be open for ticket holders for events in the Theatre auditorium three hours prior to an event start time. Please arrive no later than 40 minutes prior to the event start time.
  • We will not be admitting latecomers.
  • Each ‘bubble’ (or booking group) will have a table allocated to them in the Bar & Café, which will be retained for their use throughout their visit. On arrival you will be asked to wait at your table before being seated in the auditorium.
  • Bookers will have been sent an e-ticket for the show. Show it to a team-member on arrival to be shown to your allocated table.
  • We required all guests to wear face coverings throughout your visit at all times when not at their allocated table. You must wear a face covering throughout the performance.

In the auditorium

  • 30 minutes before the show start time, groups will be taken from their allocated tables one by one into the auditorium to take their seats.
  • We will be operating a no readmittance policy. If you leave the auditorium before the interval, you will only be able to re-enter at the interval; if you leave the auditorium before the end of a performance, you won’t be able to be readmitted.
  • We are increasing the amount of air conditioning through the auditorium. This is ensure we have the cleanest air possible, but it will be cooler than usual as a result, so make sure you bring a jumper.

The interval

  • A small number of guests will be asked to leave the auditorium during the interval to allow free passage of other guests in and out of their seats.
  • We ask that guests order interval drinks prior to the performance. On our at-table ordering app, mark the ‘additional notes’ section with the word ‘INTERVAL’, and our bar staff will make sure your order is ready for you when you come back to your table at the interval.
  • Ice creams will be be available to buy during the interval, but please eat these at your table.

Your Data and NHS Test & Trace

To aid NHS Test and Trace, and in line with Government rules (updated 12 Apr 2021), we are obliged to collect basic contact details from all visitors and Bar & Café customers.

In event of cases being linked back to a Bristol Old Vic customer, we can work with health authorities to contact everyone who we have details of, to limit further transmission and keep people safe.

Rest assured your details will not be kept longer than 21 days, are kept separate from our customer information systems, will not be used for anything but to aid NHS Test and Trace, and will be securely destroyed at the end of 21 days.

Asking for customer details for this in no way infringes your rights, and is in line with GDPR or the Data Protection Act. It is now a legal requirement and failure to share basic contact information will result in us being unable to serve you.

Thank you for helping us keep each other safe.

Download our Covid-Secure risk assessments below for more details on what we’re doing to keep everyone safe:

Last updated: 12 Apr 2021