Response to the Government's Roadmap - 22nd Feb 2021
Updated: 5 days ago
We welcome the government having published a roadmap with a structured approach, and for the stating that:
· It will follow the science, and be guided by “data, not dates”
· Outdoor activities will be prioritised in line with scientific consensus that they present very low risk
However, we believe the roadmap does not follow those principles when it comes to the performing arts
- With epidemiological studies estimating an 18.7 times lower risk of transmitting Covid outdoors than indoors, we believe that treating indoor and outdoor performing arts similarly in both opening dates and in % reduced capacity contradicts the government's own scientific guidance
- With the government's performance arts guidance stating that controlled seated events present a lower risk that standing events, we do not believe that opening outdoor visitor attractions such as theme parks on April 12th, yet keeping it illegal to perform outdoors at controlled seating arts venues until May 17th, is in line with their own science
- In 2020, the outdoor sector demonstrated its low risk with thousands of safely-run events and zero reported cases of transmission. Yet in 2021, the roadmap places the sector in the same segment as locations with proven cases of transmission such as indoor restaurants and socialising indoors.
Reopening society in a safe manner is a responsibility of government, but as is the economic and mental wellbeing of the people too. Reopening the outdoor performing arts sector serves these last two goals without compromising the first.
We call on the government to:
1. Bring forward the outdoor sector’s reopening to as soon as vaccines have been offered to all of groups 1-7, which will coincide with over 50% of the population, bringing the risk of death from Covid to the average annual level of flu. At present rate, this will happen by mid-April.
2. Not to delay the return of the minimal-risk outdoor sector if vaccination setbacks occur that delay the reopening of the higher-risk indoor sector
3. Legalise busking again with immediate effect
4. Seize the opportunity to use the outdoor performing arts sector to kickstart the nation's cultural rebirth