Musicians: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) music ensembles and (b) orchestras can meet in groups of more than six people following the Government's announcement on 9 September 2020 of new covid-19 restrictions; and if he will publish guidance on that matter.

Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will add the activities of non-profit music organisations to the list of exemptions to the rule of six restriction on socialising.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The latest evidence indicates that the COVID-19 infection rate is beginning to rise across the country. It is therefore now vitally important that the Government takes decisive action to limit any further spread and reduce the likelihood of a further national lockdown of the type that was necessary earlier this year. These measures were announced last week with clear guidance on what would change.

The rule of six does not apply to gatherings necessary for work. Non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can legally continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than six at any time.

If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than six (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.

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