London's West End theater heartland has canceled all performances until the end of May as the novel coronavirus crisis continues to keep a stranglehold on the U.K.
The news was announced Monday, extending the shutdown beyond the previous date for canceled shows of April 26.
"'We're now canceling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government," read a statement by the Society of London Theatre on behalf of the major commercial West End theater operators and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers. The announcement came just a day after the number of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths in the U.K. surpassed 4,900.
"We look forward to welcoming you back into our theaters as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy," the statement continued.
The West End had been among the first to react to the crisis, with most theaters closing in mid-March, a week before an official shutdown notice was ordered by the government and in response to a request by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the public stay away from public gatherings. The Olivier Awards, the biggest night for U.K. theater, was canceled soon after.
On Sunday night, Johnson was admitted to hospital after still showing coronavirus symptoms following 10 days of self-isolation.