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Performing arts will be allowed take place outdoors from July 11, culture secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.
The move means outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can resume, so long as they take place outside and with “a limited and socially distanced audience”.
Pilots of small indoor performances with social distanced audiences will also take place as the government explores how to get venues back up and running.
Dowden said: “Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. That’s why we’re protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times.
“We are also giving further clarity on restart dates in our roadmap back to performance.
“From July 11 we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and we are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots.
“Our scientific research project will also help speed up this journey.
“Combined with our £1.57bn rescue package, this is a comprehensive plan to help our brilliant arts organisations weather the covid storm and bounce back stronger.”
Guidance on how outdoor performances can take place will be published later on Thursday.
There will also be new planning rules to protect theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues.