WORCESTER, Mass. - The state announced this week COVID-related business regulations may end August 1 -- a timeline the Hanover Theatre in Worcester was hopeful for.

President and CEO Troy Siebels says the touring shows need full capacity, and this allows them to move forward with bringing them back.

Siebels says to prepare for visitors, Hanover Theatre will have safety procedures including enhanced cleaning, touch-less ticketing and ticket scanning.

Siebels says they’d been planning for a fall return, and the state’s new timeline allows them to tell the big shows and the public they will be back after Labor Day.

 "I can't say enough how important it is to have a date. It's important operationally, but it's important mentally,” Siebels said. “It gives us some more faith that indeed there is a light at the end of this tunnel."

Siebels says the theater will do an outdoor production of Julius Caesar on the Worcester Common in August as a way to stay connected to the audience. But the first show inside the theatre will be Ricky Duran on September 18.