As reported by Pitchfork, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that indoor concerts and performances will begin in England as early as August 1, as Billboard reports and UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed in a tweet. The plan marks phase four of England’s five-stage reopening strategy for live events. Social distancing will be enforced at the indoor performances.
According to an official announcement viewed by Billboard, performers, audience members, and venues “will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times,” and reduced capacity, deep cleaning requirements, and staggered sets may also be enforced. Certain venues, including the London Symphony Orchestra at St. Luke’s London, will be used as pilot venues to conduct socially-distanced concerts to inform future venue guidelines.
“From 1 August socially distanced audiences can return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues,” Oliver Dowden tweeted earlier today (July 17). “This builds on pilots with @londonsymphony and others. So pleased to make progress to Stage 4 of our road map for culture.” Find his full tweet below.
The current reopening strategy for venues applies only to England, and not the rest of the UK.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced a stimulus package of £1.57 billion ($1.96 billion USD) that will be allocated toward theaters, galleries, museums, and cultural venues that have suffered financial stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.