At a press conference this morning, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that indoor performances with live audiences may recommence in England from 1 August following the UK lockdown, subject to the success of pilot schemes.
This comes after culture secretary Oliver Dowden’s announcement last week, in which he declared that outdoor concert venues and theatres could reopen.
Johnson also stated that he hopes the government will be able to ‘pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn’.
It is not yet clear whether indoor performances will be permitted in other parts of the UK.
The Prime Minister was keen to repeat that these plans remain conditional, and will be revoked if there are further outbreaks or if the pilot schemes show an increase in infection rates.
The importance of social distancing remains critical for venues reopening, with Johnson stating, ‘All of these measures from 1 August should be done in a COVID-secure way’. It has not yet been announced what these restrictions will involve.
Earlier this month, Oliver Dowden announced a £1.57 billion pledge to save the arts industry, which will be split between museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas, concert halls, heritage sites and live music venues across the UK.