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Restrictions and permitted activities in England

The Government has published a Spring 2021 Covid-19 response roadmap, which provides a four-step plan for gradually easing lockdown restrictions. Dates remain provisional as each step will be assessed against four tests before restrictions are eased. Here we highlight permitted activities relevant to musicians.

England is currently at Step 3 of the Government's Spring roadmap

  • All music education provision permitted. Please see our Covid Teaching advice page for more details.
  • Drive-in cinema, theatre and other performance events permitted.
  • Indoor live performance permitted with audience limitations (1,000 people or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is lower).
  • Outdoor live performance permitted with audience limitations (4,000 people or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is lower).
  • Large outdoor seated events permitted with audience limitations (10,000 people or 25% of venue capacity, whichever is lower).
  • Capacity limits: Performers and venue staff are not included in the above limits. For events with mixed standing and seating capacity the capacity cap will be calculated as 25% of seated capacity, irrespective of any standing capacity. All audience members admitted under this provision should be seated and should not access the venue’s standing capacity to view the event.
  • Pubs open for both indoor and outdoor service. In addition to the above organised / advertised 'live performances' pubs can continue to provide complementary incidental live music in adherence with the Government’s guidance for businesses on safe socialising.
  • Life events (weddings, wedding receptions, funerals, wakes) A wider range now permitted to include Bar Mitzvahs and Christenings. Guest limit for all life events set at thirty. Musicians are not included in these guest limits.
  • Busking is now permitted. Buskers should encourage audience members to maintain social distancing wherever possible.
    • Amateur activity is now permitted with limitations which are under discussion with Government:
      • Outdoors, people can take part in non-professional performing arts activities in a group of up to 30 people. Activities can take place with multiple permitted groups, provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity, and the event is organised in line with the organised events guidance for local authorities.
      • Indoors, people can take part in non-professional performing arts activities in a group of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households/bubbles. Activities can take place with multiple permitted groups, provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity, and the event is organised in line with the organised events guidance for local authorities.
      • Non-professional singing indoors should only take place in a single group of up to 6 people. 
    • NHS Test & Trace: Some performing arts venues are legally required to keep a record of all visitors, customers and staff on the premises, to support NHS Test & Trace. This applies to: Theatres, Concert Venues (including Grassroots Music Venues), Music Recording Studios (open for public hire or other public use) You can find more information here.

    Step 4: No earlier than 21 June 2021

    • Life events: No limit on guests.
    • Re-opening of all remaining businesses, including nightclubs.
    • Relaxation of limits on live performance events, subject to success of previous steps.