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Mask Wearing and Performances: What Are the Rules

Updated – mask wearing indoors is now a requirement in many situations across the UK. For musicians in England this no longer includes when performing.

Published: 28 September 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
Photograph of a tiny model piano, placed outside and resting on top of a face mask.
Guidance from each devolved government on face coverings is applicable to many musicians’ workplaces. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Edit: Please note that since originally publishing this story, we recieved updated guidance from the DCMS that "performers, performing in the course of their employment or in the course of providing their services (for example during rehearsals and performances), are exempt from wearing face coverings; they must, however be worn at all other points whilst in a venue."

Should a musician be required to wear a face covering when performing in a venue such as a restaurant or bar?

In England a musician will not need to wear a facemask whilst performing, however they must wear one at all other times in the venue. You can read detailed guidance on mask wearing in England on the Government’s website.

Singers and wind and brass players can use other mitigations – greater distance and/or screens for example when performing – but when not performing they would need to use a mask.

Whilst live performances in front of an audience still aren’t permitted in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – guidance from each devolved government on face coverings is applicable to many musicians’ workplaces.

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Grey skys over westminister bridge, with the houses of parliament and big ben in view in the background.

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