Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead for theatres to host indoor, socially-distanced performances in England.
Last month, venues around the country had been given the green light to open their doors to audiences – however this was delayed amid a spike in coronavirus figures.
It has now been confirmed that performances can again take place in theatres and venues from Saturday – except in locations where ‘local lockdowns’ have been imposed.
This includes Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
Rules have also been relaxed on businesses including bowling alleys, beauty salons, skating rinks, casinos and tattoo studios.
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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed the move, explaining: ‘The nation’s hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further careful progress on recovery with allowing audiences back for indoor performances, fans back at sports events and the reopening of more Covid-19 secure leisure businesses.
‘We must all continue to stay alert but today’s welcome news means these organisations can finally get going safely, and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation.
‘I have no doubt that they will work incredibly hard to keep their fans, patrons and customers safe.’
The next step of the official plans – stage five – will see performances allowed both indoors and outdoors with fuller crowds.
However, it is not clear when this will be implemented.
There have been a string of ‘successful series of pilots’ – including one instance where Beverley Knight performed to a sold-out, socially distanced crowd, at the London Palladium.
Clapham Grand also held a trial concert last month.
But while venue manager Ally Wolf was confident that they could hold a safe event that meets the regulations, he told PA this ‘can’t be the future for live music’.
He insisted that the gigs aren’t ‘a financial model that the industry can remotely rely upon to get to be sustainable’.
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