Lockdown & Restrictions

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England: COVID-19 advice for musicians

This page is regularly updated to cover the latest information coming from the UK Government that affects musicians working in England.

Key dates for the music sector

The UK Government has published a roadmap on easing lockdown restrictions in England, with indicative dates of what may happen when. Please note these dates are subject to reduced prevalence of the virus and other key indicators in the roadmap, and may be adjusted accordingly.

In brief, some key dates that may affect musicians’ work include:

Step 1 – 8 March 2021: Schools reopen for all pupils.

Step 1 – 29 March 2021: Amateur and non-professional rehearsals can recommence outdoors under certain conditions.

Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April 2021: Weddings with up to 15 guests can take place in premises which are permitted to open.

Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May 2021: Theatres and concert halls to open. Performance and large events open, subject to conditions. Up to 30 people at weddings. Amateur and non-professional music can resume.

Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June 2021: Legal limits on contact removed, nightclubs can open, no legal limits on attendance at weddings.

This is not exhaustive and other planned changes may also open up opportunities for work for musicians. See below for more details on information we have so far. We will be updating this page regularly as more guidance becomes available.

Last updated: 6 April 2021

Performances and rehearsals

Current restrictions for indoor events remain in force until 17 May 2021 at the earliest. Some outdoor performances may be permitted from 12 April 2021 at the earliest.

Last updated: 19 March 2021

Amateur choirs and groups

Amateur and non-professional rehearsals can recommence outdoors under certain conditions from 29 March 2021.

From Step 3 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap, all amateur and non-professional activity can recommence.

Last updated: 31 March 2021

From 29 March 2021:Government guidance confirms that non-professional performing arts activity will be permitted outdoors within the legal gathering limits as follows:

  • groups of up to six people or a group of two households
  • a group of two households can include more than six people where all members of the group are part of the same two households (including where they are part of a support bubble)
  • social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a bubble

Indoor non-professional performing arts activity is not permitted, unless an exemption exists, such as performances which form part of an act of worship. Please see guidance for places of worship for details.

From Step 2 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap (no earlier than 12 April):

Government guidance states that ‘outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions:

that they comply with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission
complete a related risk assessment
ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for work purposes, or supervised activities for children).’

Permitted rehearsals outdoors under this guidance will cease to be lawful if people start watching, as performances are not permitted under Step 2 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap.

From Step 3 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap (no earlier than 17 May):

We have had confirmation from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that all non-professional and amateur music can recommence from Step 3 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap. Step 3 will be no earlier than 17 May 2021 and will depend upon the Government’s review of relevant COVID-19 data. We will provide further details nearer the time.