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Latest Covid-19 Restrictions

Last updated Tuesday 1 December


New rules will come into effect in England from the beginning of Wednesday 2 December. Read more detail around the tiering system that will be introduced on gov.uk.

Set out below are the points most likely to affect musicians and the places in which they work. You can also read the Government's full working safely during Coronavirus for the Performing Arts on their website.

Across all tiers in England

Across all tiers, everyone:

  • must wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless they have an exemption
  • should follow the rules on meeting others safely
  • should attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers
  • should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling
  • must follow the gathering limits at their tier except for in specific settings and circumstances.

Tier 1: Medium Alert

Recording and broadcasting

  • Professional activity: Recording and rehearsal studios remain open for professional use where the studio is a Covid-secure venue. Professional recording and rehearsing can also take place outdoors.
  • Non-Professional activity: Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors in compliance with the “Rule of 6”. Non-professional groups larger than six can gather to record or rehearse, but sub-groups of six must not “mingle” with any other such group.

Gigs and live performances

  • Bars, pubs and restaurants: Professional live performances (i.e. if you are being paid) can take place in Covid-secure venues. Venues must be table service only and must stop serving by 10:00 pm and close by 11:00 pm.
  • Weddings, wedding receptions, funerals and wakes: 15 guests are allowed at wedding and civil partnership services, wedding receptions and wakes. 30 guests are allowed at funerals. Musicians are not included in these guest limits.
  • Theatre and large-scale live performance: Professional Live performance is permitted with audiences limited to 4000 outdoors / 1000 indoors OR 50% of capacity (whichever is lower).
  • Busking: Our understanding is that busking is allowed for work purposes as long as it is not encouraging mass crowds. Audiences will need to adhere to the appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Orchestras and choirs

  • Recording: Professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues and outdoors. Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors in compliance with the “Rule of 6”. Non-professional groups larger than six can gather to record or rehearse, but sub-groups of six must not “mingle” with any other such group.
  • Performances with audiences: Professional live performances are permitted with audiences limited to 4000 outdoors / 1000 indoors OR 50% of capacity (whichever is lower).

Music education

  • Schools: Schools remain open and instrumental/vocal music lessons continue to be permitted either with a classroom teacher or a visiting music teacher. Ensembles are permitted within Covid-secure guidelines.
  • Musical activities in schools outside of the core school day: Permitted.
  • Online: As always private online music tuition is permitted and is the safest option where technology and connectivity is available.
  • Home teaching: Private tuition is permitted for students of all ages in homes and studios within Covid-secure guidelines. No cap on numbers as long as sufficient space is available to implement Covid-secure measures.
  • Private music schools and music centres: Permitted for all ages, with no cap on numbers.

Travel

If you live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there.  Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work. You can travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey

Tier 2: High Alert

Recording and broadcasting

  • Professional Activity: Recording & rehearsal studios remain open for professional use where the studio is a COVID-secure venue. Professional recording and rehearsing can also take place outdoors.
  • Non-Professional Activity: Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors. Households or Support Bubbles must not “mingle” with any other such group.

Gigs and live performances

  • Bars, pubs and restaurants: Professional live performances (i.e. if you are being paid) can take place in COVID-secure venues that are permitted to open. Pubs and bars are only permitted to open if operating as restaurants. Music Venues are permitted to open and can serve alcohol provided the event is ticketed and the audience is seated. Last orders for all venues is 10:00 pm, and they must close by 11:00 pm.
  • Weddings, wedding receptions, funerals and wakes: 15 guests are allowed at wedding and civil partnership services, wedding receptions and wakes. 30 guests are allowed at funerals. Musicians are not included in these guest limits.
  • Theatre and large-scale live performance: Professional Live performance is permitted with audiences limited to 2000 outdoors / 1000 indoors OR 50% of capacity (whichever is lower).
  • Busking: Our understanding is that busking is allowed for work purposes as long as it is not encouraging mass crowds. Audiences will need to adhere to the appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Orchestras and choirs

  • Recording: Professional recording and rehearsing can take place in COVID-secure venues and outdoors. Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors. Households or Support Bubbles must not “mingle” with any other such group.
  • Performances with Audiences: Professional Live performance is permitted with audiences limited to 2000 outdoors / 1000 indoors OR 50% of capacity (whichever is lower).

Music education

  • Schools: Schools remain open and instrumental/vocal music lessons continue to be permitted either with a classroom teacher or a visiting music teacher. Ensembles are permitted within Covid-secure guidelines.
  • Musical activities in schools outside of the core school day: Permitted.
  • Online: As always private online music tuition is permitted and is the safest option where technology and connectivity is available.
  • Home teaching: Private tuition is permitted for students of all ages in homes and studios within Covid-secure guidelines. No cap on numbers as long as sufficient space is available to implement Covid-secure measures.
  • Private music schools and music centres: Permitted for all ages, with no cap on numbers.

Travel

If you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey

Tier 3: Very High Alert

Recording and broadcasting

  • Professional Activity: Recording & rehearsal studios remain open for professional use where the studio is a Covid-secure venue. Professional recording and rehearsing can also take place outdoors.
  • Non-Professional Activity: Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors. Households or Support Bubbles must not “mingle” with any other such group.

Gigs and live performances

  • Bars, pubs and restaurants: These venues will only be open for takeaway, delivery or drive-thru service, so no live performance will be permitted.
  • Weddings, wedding receptions, funerals and wakes: 15 guests are allowed at weddings, civil partnership services and wakes. 30 guests are allowed at funerals. Wedding receptions are not permitted. Musicians are not included in these guest limits.
  • Theatre and large-scale live performance: Only drive-in live performances are permitted.
  • Busking: Our understanding is that busking is allowed for work purposes as long as it is not encouraging mass crowds. Audiences will need to adhere to the appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Orchestras and choirs

  • Recording: Professional recording and rehearsing can take place in COVID-secure venues and outdoors. Non-professional recording and rehearsing can take place in Covid-secure venues or outdoors. Households or Support Bubbles must not “mingle” with any other such group.
  • Performances with audiences: Only drive-in live performances are permitted.

Music education

  • Schools: Schools remain open and instrumental/vocal music lessons continue to be permitted either with a classroom teacher or a visiting music teacher. Ensembles are permitted within Covid-secure guidelines.
  • Musical activities in schools outside of the core school day: Permitted.
  • Online: As always private online music tuition is permitted and is the safest option where technology and connectivity is available.
  • Home teaching: Private tuition is permitted for students of all ages in homes and studios within Covid-secure guidelines. No cap on numbers as long as sufficient space is available to implement Covid-secure measures.
  • Private music schools and music centres: Permitted for all ages, with no cap on numbers.

Travel

If you are in a Tier 3 areas, avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.