Large live events, gigs and nightclubs could be making a return in England from June if the government’s roadmap out of lockdown goes according to plan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plan to lift coronavirus restrictions earlier today (February 22), setting out a four-step roadmap the country will need to go through to get “back to normal”.
According to Johnson, the government will “aim to remove all legal limits on social contact” by June 21. Before that, outdoor hospitality, such as pubs and outdoor dining, could reopen on April 12, with indoor hospitality following on May 17.
The latter date is also the first point where live events could return, however, limited capacities and social distancing may still be required.
BREAKING: The 4 steps to lifting lockdown in England.
There will be weeks between each step: 4 weeks to reflect on the data followed by 1 week notice to be given to relevant sectors and the public. pic.twitter.com/7RTql0pV7S
— Daniel Hewitt (@DanielHewittITV) February 22, 2021
If government tests are met on May 17, big events and sports stadiums will be able to reopen with capacity limits – up to 10,000 attendees should be allowed in outdoor spaces where there is the option to spread out, or up to 4,000 people, or 50 per cent capacity in stadiums; indoor events will be allowed up to 1,000 people or 50 per cent capacity (whichever is smaller for both outdoors and indoors).
After June 21, the government hopes to lift all restrictions on social contact, with large events and performances finally allowed in full. However, the roadmap is contingent on England passing four tests – the success of the vaccine rollout, the effectiveness of vaccines, how the NHS is coping with the current infection rate, and any potential threats from new variants.
Music Venue Trust’s Mark Davyd said the roadmap has given the organisation the green light to begin “imagin[ing] how we Revive Live in grassroots music venues and develop that work into the full return of our domestic music scene”.
Last week (February 16), the Prime Minister said rapid testing could pave the way for nightclubs and theatres to reopen. Johnson suggested lateral flow tests could be used to help “those parts of the economy” that were unable to open their doors last year.
Earlier today it was reported that up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors from March 29. Rules will also be relaxed, allowing people to sit down for a drink or picnic rather than the current requirement of exercising together.
Johnson will hold a press conference tonight at 7pm where he will detail the roadmap to the nation.