The government has revealed a five-stage “roadmap” to help rebuild the performing arts industry after the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of a “phased return”, the plan will initially let performances take place outdoors, with indoor performances following later.
There’s no mention of additional funding, despite various venues in the industry saying that this is vital for surviving as a business.
Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said he wants to “raise the curtain on live performances” as soon as possible.
The five stages are:
- Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences and adhering to social distancing guidelines)
- Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes (adhering to social distancing guidelines)
- Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience plus pilots for indoor performances with a limited-distance audience
- Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (but with a limited-distanced audience indoors)
- Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors/outdoors (with a larger audience indoors)
There has been no specific time frame given, although a DCMS spokesperson said the first two stages could take place immediately, according to the BBC.
Dowden compared his roadmap to the "Project Restart" plans that have allowed the Premiership, the Championship and other "elite sport" competitions to resume without crowds of fans.
He explained that live performances in theatres and music venues were "the soul of our nation and a lynchpin of our world-beating creative industries".
"We know the challenges - theatres must be full to make money, and performers need to be safe on stage as they sing, dance and play instruments.
"But I am determined to ensure the performing arts do not stay closed longer than is absolutely necessary to protect public health."
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