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England Enters Month Long Covid Lockdown 2.0

England Enters Month Long Covid Lockdown 2.0
By Michelle Sciarrotta

England entered its second lockdown on Thursday 5th November, which is due to last until 2nd December. The new rules have been put in place due to fears over rising numbers of the virus, which sparked similar preventative measures in other parts of the UK in recent weeks. Just as some areas and industries were starting to feel more ‘normal’, many entertainment and arts organisations have now had to revise their practices to align with the current restrictions, which have been made in an attempt to stop a second wave coming over the festive period.

The Music Industry

The latest guidance from the Musicians’ Union outlines business as usual can go ahead for music teachers, socially distanced rehearsals, and studio recording sessions. The main difference affecting musicians is the lack of live performances due to the closure of ‘non-essential businesses’ including hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues. Additionally, in a change to the first lockdown, weddings are not permitted during lockdown 2.

For the full list of the new rules visit here.

Strictly Come Dancing

The welcome return of live entertainment television programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing had brought some light-hearted respite to the UK, and thankfully this will be able to continue with some slight changes.

The BBC has now made the adaptation of filming the show without a studio audience – there had previously been a socially distant, mask wearing audience in the first two weeks of live shows, with the series premiere welcoming an audience of NHS staff. While this is now unfeasible for the coming month, the show will go ahead in a different way, with Strictly Judge Craig Revel Horwood saying:

“Of course, with the new lockdown there is no audience, so it’s quite difficult actually. It’s just a new way of entertainment and looking at things.”

Adaptation seems to be the keyword of 2020 – the show’s fourth judge Bruno Tonioli has only been able to make guest appearances via video chat this series due to being in the USA and unable to travel to the UK. In previous years, Tonioli has jetted between the two nations for work commitments, but that has just not been possible with the ongoing isolation requirements during the pandemic.

Looking forward from here

Theatre in the UK had just started to lift its head above the metaphorical parapet, with a successful run of socially distanced shows taking place in London, and Pantomime season looking likely to go ahead in the same vein. Whether these plans will go ahead in December is unknown for now, yet as the UK locks itself down for the second time, we collectively thank those working in the industry, whether they are media, technical, backstage, costume, creative, or management teams – the people ensuring there is still art and entertainment being made and shared with those who appreciate it so very much in lockdown.

For more information on Strictly Come Dancing and the measures taken by the BBC, visit here.

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Cahoots NI: Interview With An Innovative Children’s Theatre Company

Accessibility At The Smith Center Series: Part One

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