Extra social distancing for performers on stage is set to be axed.
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, took to Twitter to announce that a “medical study the UK government commissioned & funded shows that singing is no more risky than talking.” Twenty-five professional performers of different genders, ethnicities, ages and backgrounds – musical theatre, opera, gospel, jazz and pop – took part in the study, the BBC shared.
Jonathan Reid, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Bristol, is one of the authors of the paper, which was supported by Public Health England. He said: “Our research has provided a rigorous scientific basis for Covid-19 recommendations for arts venues to operate safely, for both the performers and audience, by ensuring that spaces are appropriately ventilated to reduce the risk of airborne transmission.”
Also sharing that the performing arts guidance had been amended with immediate effect, Dowden said the move was “good news for music venues, musicians, theatres & opera.”
In June, Oliver Dowden announced a five-stage plan after a meeting with the cultural taskforce, breaking down the five steps all venues and live event spaces must take to return to normal amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Announced as part of the latest lockdown easing measures, the UK government stated that while music and theatre venues could open their doors for live performances from last Saturday (15th), nightclubs and dance halls would remain closed for the forseeable future.
See the thread below.
Important step on getting performances back on
Medical study that Govt commissioned & funded shows that singing is no more risky than talking
So we can get performers back on stage without extra social distancing – 3m becomes 1m with mitigations https://t.co/Pku6xbKTKq
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) August 20, 2020