At a Downing Street news conference this morning (17 July 2020) the Prime Minster unveiled the plan for a “more significant return to normality” by Christmas, with a return to indoor live performances to restart in England in August, subject the the successful completion of pilots.
It was also stated that larger gatherings in stadiums will also be piloted, with a view to reopening this Autumn.
Local authorities will have new powers to monitor the situation. Johnson said “From tomorrow, local authorities will have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces and cancel events.
“These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to outbreaks where speed is paramount. Action by local councils will not always be sufficient, so next week we will publish draft regulations on how central government can intervene more effectively at a local level.
“Where justified by the evidence, ministers will be able to close whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local stay-at-home orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce the size of gatherings beyond the national defined rules or restrict transport systems serving local areas.”
Update: 14:20 BST. Music Venue Trust response
A statement released from the Music Venue Trust reads:
“UK Government has announced that from 1 August live music events will be permissible in Grassroots Music Venues if they observe social distancing, and that pilot projects will take place prior to this date to test the conditions for such performances.
“The government has been in talks with various organisations, including Music Venue Trust, within the live music sector with regards to pilot events being held. However, we have not received confirmation that any of these events have been authorised to take place in Grassroots Music Venues as yet so would question whether August 1st is a realistic date for those pilot events to have taken place and to have informed the final guidance for venues.
“It should be noted that we have already provided evidence to the government that staging live events with any level of social distancing measures would not be financially viable for the majority of Grassroots Music Venues. If such socially distanced events are to be part of the progress towards normality within the sector from 1 August, significant subsidies will be required if this measure is to have any noticeable impact upon the number of shows actually taking place.
“We would also note that events at Grassroots Music Venue level typically take between 6 weeks and 6 months to arrange, and that a notice period of two weeks is another enormous challenge to the objective of bringing back live music safely.”