To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing theatres and live performance venues with a date before which they will not be able to reopen.
We appreciate that this is an incredibly challenging time and that there are many cultural organisations and professionals who are currently facing difficult and uncertain circumstances. We are very alert to this issue and it is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening, as and when it will be possible to do so.
From the information we have been receiving from various organisations and professionals, we know that the picture is nuanced across the country, with different organisations facing different challenges when it comes to the question of reopening.
The Secretary of State recently revealed a five stage roadmap that the government will work through to get the performing arts sectors back up and running as soon as possible:
Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences)
Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes
Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience and pilots for indoor performances with a limited socially-distanced audience
Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors and outdoors (but with a limited socially-distanced audience indoors)
Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors / outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)
From the 11th July, we will move to Stage Three. This means that performances outdoors with a socially distanced audience can take place in line with this guidance. DCMS will work with sector representative bodies to select a number of pilots for indoor performances with a socially distanced audience.