UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that indoor concerts and performances will be allowed in England starting August 1st, 2020. The official announcement was made on Friday, July 17th as part of a wider discussion about phase four of England’s five-stage reopening strategy for live events. UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden then confirmed the news in a tweet.
Social distancing measures will be enforced in all indoor performances, in addition to reduced capacity for venues, required online ticketing, frequent sanitization and deep cleaning requirements, and staggered sets.
“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,” Oliver Dowden said in a statement. “From August indoor theatres, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country.”
The new reopening policy applies only to England since the rest of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – are governed by their own national administrations.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced an emergency stimulus package of £1.57 billion for arts venues and cultural spaces that have suffered financial difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the “the biggest one-off investment in UK culture”.
Read our feature on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting independent musicians.
From 1 August socially distanced audiences can return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues. This builds on pilots with @londonsymphony and others. So pleased to make progress to Stage 4 of our road map for culture. pic.twitter.com/Js7dQUghZ6
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) July 17, 2020