Live indoor performances resume 1 August – Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson announced today that live indoor performances will be able to resume from 1 August 2020 with a socially distanced audience.

Boris Johnson live indoor performances
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The announcement about the resumption of live indoor performances was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during today’s press briefing.

The Prime Minister said: “We will restart indoor performances to a live audience, subject to the success of pilots, and we will also pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn.”

“All of these measures, for August 1, should be done in a Covid-secure way.” He added.

Johnson added it may be “conceivably possible” to move away from social distancing measures such as the one-metre rule by November at the earliest, which will be “entirely conditional on our ability to keep the virus under control”.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The UK’s performing arts sector is renowned across the world and I am pleased that we are making real progress in getting its doors reopened to the public with social distancing.

“From August indoor theatres, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country.

“This is a welcome step in the path to a return to normal and, coupled with our £1.57 billion rescue package, will help secure the future of this important sector.”

Further measures required of theatres will include:

  • Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  • Online sale of tickets and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace
  • Increased deep cleaning of auditoriums
  • Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning
  • Social distancing of performers, conductors and musicians

Singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments in groups or in front of an audience can only be conducted by trained professionals. Trial performances will be taking place at venues across the UK including a performance of the London Symphony Orchestra at St Lukes.

The announcement made today is applicable only to performances in England. Theatres in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are subject to determinations made by the devolved governments.

This announcement is the first step in the move to Stage 4 of the government’s roadmap to re-open theatres.


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