The Prime Minister said the “show must go on” as MPs pleaded with him to support areas of the economy that are unable to reopen yet due to Covid-19 safety fears.
Theatres were highlighted by a London MP worried about the effect the lockdown was having on the long-term viability.
Tory MP Nickie Aiken (Cities of London and Westminster) – whose constituency takes in the capital’s theatre district – called for the venues to be able to open again “as soon as it is safe to do so”.
Responding, Mr Johnson said:
Mr Johnson added: “But to do that, we have to defeat this disease and that is what this Government is engaged in.”
The impact of lockdown has already hit arts venues of all shapes and sizes. London's West End, all but closed since the beginning of March, could be "decimated" by the crisis theatre directors have warned.
Already musical giants Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Hamilton and The Phantom Of The Opera have announced they will not return until 2021.