Dear patrons, parents and PP&VA community
I understand that some of you have expressed great frustration at our decision to maintain the double vaccination requirement for some activities after 1 December despite the proposed change in Health Orders.
Let me explain why.
We are concerned for the safety of our staff and our community – be they ticket holders, students attending workshops or classes, or dancers backstage eager to perform. The nature of theatre activities is the ability to gather together closely, to share breath as we share a performance. We are required to sit at close quarters in an enclosed space for an extended period – and this is why, in the current Health Order – Entertainment Facilities are listed as “Higher Risk” locations.
But we also want very much to open our doors once again and welcome you all back.
No one knows at this point what will happen to case numbers in coming weeks as NSW opens up, but the expectation is that they will rise. Vaccination protects against hospitalization. It does not prevent one catching or transmitting Covid, yet it remains our best defence.
Those of you angry that our policy will prevent you from seeing your child dance would be equally, if not more, angry, if we had not taken the steps, that we, as a business, consider necessary to protect you from catching this disease while at our venue, maybe from the parent in the seat next to you, in front of you, or at the bar during interval.
We can only do what is within our power and control in order to stop more deaths and serious infections. We cannot do more than that – but we must do at least that. Our stance is in line with many theatres across Sydney – all keen to open up, but as keenly aware of the risks that this presents.
That is why we have looked at activities – and classified them according to risk. So, activities that occur outside, or do not gather people in an enclosed space for an extended period will relax requirements. Those that bring people into close contact (despite masks and distancing where possible and ongoing safety measures) will maintain the vaccination requirement.
As we go forward, and as other types of Covid testing become more readily available, we will review our policy to see what additional measures can be put in place to broaden access. Please know that this has not been an easy decision, but it has had concern for your safety at its heart. As with all things Covid, we must put the good of the many against the wishes of the minority or individual.
That is why we stayed home. Let’s do everything we can not to have to stay home again.
CEO, PP&VA Ltd