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UK govt “strongly” advises against public gatherings

Emergency health workers will no longer be present at events in the UK, as citizens are advised to avoid social venues, pubs, and clubs and stop “non-essential contact”

By Anna Grace on 16 Mar 2020

UK govt "strongly" advises citizens to avoid public gatherings

London is a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country in terms of the spread of the virus

image © Daniel Chapman/Flickr

The UK government has suggested all citizens “stop non-essential contact with others” and has “strongly” advised against visiting social venues, pubs, clubs and theatres, causing “uncertainty and confusion” among those working in the country’s music business.

From tomorrow (17 March), the government has announced it will no longer be “supporting” mass gathering through the provision of emergency services.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson states that the advice is particularly applicable to those living in London, which is “a few weeks ahead” in terms of the spread of the virus.

“We need urgent clarity from Government about what exactly these new changes will mean,” states Tom Kiehl, acting CEO of UK Music.

“The government must spell out whether there will be a formal ban, when that might come into effect, which venues and events will be impacted and how long the measures will remain in place.”

“We need urgent clarity from Government about what exactly these new changes will mean”

Kiehl says “swift action” must be taken by the government to mitigate the “catastrophic impact” that the virus is having on the industry.

“Unless music businesses and venues get help fast to get them though this desperately difficult period, the sad reality is the vital businesses and much loved venues will go to the wall,” continues Kiehl.

“UK Music will continue to speak to government and will be working with our members to do all we can to press for help and work towards getting our industry back on its feet as quickly as possible.”

The new measures in the UK differ from that in many of Europe’s largest live music markets, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and parts of Spain, where events over a certain size have been banned.

Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended all events over 50 people be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

Keep up to date with coronavirus-related restrictions on events in Europe here.

Coronavirus in Europe: The state of play [updating]

Photo: Daniel Chapman/Stirling Ackroyd/Balloon.tv/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


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