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UK government delays venue reopening

English venues preparing to reopen from 1 August will no longer be able to do so, as the govt pushes back the next step of lockdown easing by at least two weeks

By IQ on 31 Jul 2020

British prime minister Boris Johnson has announced the new tier system

PM Boris Johnson announced the postponement in a 31 July press conference

image © Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street

Indoor venues in England will no longer be permitted to resume business tomorrow (1 August), as the UK government stalls the next phase of reopening.

Speaking in a press conference today, UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that the further easing of coronavirus restrictions, which were set to see indoor performances return to venues in a socially distanced manner, will be postponed for at least two weeks.

Pilots, or trial, performances, such as that carried out at London’s Clapham Grand this week to inform guidance for venues on how to reopen, will also be put on hold.

Casinos and bowling alleys will also remain shut as a result of the measures.

The delay comes amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases and comes hours after the government imposed new restrictions on more than four million people across northern England.

“Music Venue Trust has consistently asserted that no grassroots music venue will be able to stage live music events before 1 October at the earliest”

“The prevalence of the virus in the community, in England, is likely to be rising for the first time since May,” says Johnson, adding that it is time to “squeeze the brake pedal”.

The UK’s Music Venue Trust has issued a statement in response to the government’s announcement, saying it is “saddened but not surprised” to hear that live music events planned from 1 August must now be cancelled.

“Since May 2020, Music Venue Trust has repeatedly informed the government that live music events in grassroots music venues would be extraordinarily difficult to stage, not economically viable, and at risk of being cancelled at short notice during the current pandemic,” reads the statement, adding that venues that have tried to host events in accordance with government guidance have incurred “substantial costs to make their venues safe”.

“Music Venue Trust has consistently asserted that no grassroots music venue will be able to stage live music events before 1 October at the earliest, yet the prime minister has stated that the new reopening date might be as earlier as 15 August,” continues the statement.

“Music Venue Trust would like to restate and emphasise the position of the sector, which is that a clear and decisive position on the part of government to provide support for grassroots music venues in the form of efficiently distributed crisis funding until such time as they can re-open safely and viably would provide the much needed clarity that venues, artists, audiences and the wider public need.”

Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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