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UK government postpones return of live music performances as lockdown easing slows

Pilot performances were due to take place from 1st August

The UK government has postponed the return of live music performances as lockdown easing slows amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press conference today (31st July), prime minister Boris Johnson announced that lockdown restrictions due to be lifted tomorrow (1st August) for higher risk settings, which included indoor music and theatre performances, pilots of crowds in sports scentres, and wedding receiptions of more than 30 people, will not be permitted.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty said that the UK will need "to reopen society and the economy to the outer edge before incidence of the virus would increase again - a difficult balancing act," and that "the idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong."

Johnson added that these restrictions had been initially postponed for two weeks until 15th August, when they will be reviewed once again by the government. It was also announced that face masks will now have to be worn in museums, cinemas, and galleries, and that the new rules be enforceable by law from the 8th August.

The news follows the announcement of a £1.57billion support package for the arts and culture industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.