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Social distancing central to new Government guidelines for the music sector

The Government has announced that from 11th July in England, outdoor live performances to socially distanced audiences will be allowed to restart.

In his announcement, Secretary of State for DCMS Oliver Dowden said venue capacity will be reduced and organisations encouraged to move to electronic ticketing to help test and trace.

A number of indoor performances will also be piloted, to work out how audiences can be confidently ushered indoors as soon as possible. In the meantime, scientific studies are being funded to understand and mitigate the impact of singing and wind and brass orchestras.

This is good news for the music sector, however precautions still need to be taken so that the infection rate doesn’t go up again. To this end, the Government has set out some detailed guidelines for the performing arts sector.

  • To ensure social distance is maintained during rehearsals, pre-production and performance, performers and other attendees will have to be socially distanced from each other and from any audience, production team members or other individuals, wherever possible.
  • Rehearsing outdoors is also encouraged; where not possible, indoor spaces must be adequately ventilated.
  • During performances, musicians are encouraged to use back-to-back or side-to-side positioning, rather than face-to-face.
  • Where social distancing may be impractical due to the degree of proximity required, such as costume fitting and hair and make-up, the Government urges to reduce the number of people each person has contact with by considering the use of ‘fixed teams, groups or partnering’ so each person works with only a few others.

A full list of Government guidelines for the performing arts applies to England, with links to guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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