Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Gill Furniss Gill Furniss Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish an updated timetable for the phased return of business events, music concerts, crowds in sporting events and other cultural events as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

On 17 July, the Prime Minister announced that as long as the prevalence of COVID-19 remains around or below current levels into the Autumn, we will reduce easements on a number of sectors including those listed from 1 October. We have always been clear that easing lockdown restrictions depended on the prevalence of COVID-19. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

From 15 August, audiences adhering to social distancing were able to return to live indoor theatres, music and performance venues. This is the fourth stage of the performing arts roadmap and we continue to work with the sector on how we can achieve the final stage of the roadmap, indoor performances with fuller audiences. Exhibition and conference centers were allowed to show small groups of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable government-backed pilots to take place.

The Government also announced that a small number of sporting events and business events will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators and attendees through September– with the ambition to reopen competition venues for sports fans and venues for business events, with social distancing measures in place, from 1 October, subject to the covid situation.

We have worked closely with events stakeholders through both the Visitor Economy and Events & Entertainment Working Groups to develop Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance for the business events industry. We continue to meet with the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel to discuss the specific issues facing the industry.

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