Indoor performances gave the green light and theaters, casinos and bowling alleys were allowed to reopen this weekend as measures to ease the lockdown were announced – but not for parts of Lancashire

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Indoor performances can also take place from Saturday, except in locations where additional restrictions have already been imposed including Preston, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle and Greater Manchester.

Other areas, including Blackpool, South Ribble, Wyre and Fylde will be able to follow the new measures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously gave the green light for performance spaces to welcome audiences again last month, but the government has delayed the move due to an increase in the prevalence of the coronavirus in the community.

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Fans wait in socially remote venues to see Sam Fender as he performs at Virgin Money Unity Arena on August 13, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne

The move was announced alongside plans to relax rules on businesses, including bowling lanes, ice rinks, casinos, beauty salons and tattoo studios.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The nation’s hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further, cautious progress in recovery by allowing audiences to return for indoor performances. , to return to fans at sporting events and to reopen more Covid-19 secure leisure activities. companies.

“We all need to continue to be vigilant, but today’s good news means these organizations can finally get started safely and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation.

“I have no doubt that they will work incredibly hard to keep their fans, customers and clients safe.”

The move allows the government to move on to the fourth stage of its plan to phase out live entertainment, which allows for both indoor and outdoor performances with a limited audience.

The fifth stage, which is the final stage of the plan, would see performances allowed inside and outside with larger crowds.

The move follows a “string of successful pilots,” according to a Downing Street statement.

One of the pilot performances saw singer Beverley Knight perform at the London Palladium Theater to a sold-out and socially distanced audience.

Andrew Lloyd Webber put on the matinee show last month and called it a “pretty sad show”, adding that the place “is supposed to be full”.

A test concert was also held at Clapham Grand in South London last month.

Ally Wolf, the venue manager, told the PA News Agency at the time of the event that if he was convinced they could operate safely with socially distant crowds, the pilot “cannot to be the future of live music ”.

Social distancing is “not a financial model that the industry can rely on remotely to become sustainable” because for most sites the operating costs would outweigh the benefits.

However, some venues, such as Ronnie Scott’s and Wigmore Hall jazz club in London and Beggar’s Theater in Millom, Cumbria, had planned to host performances until the government postponed easing the lockdown.

A support program of 1.57 billion pounds for the arts has already been announced by the Secretary of Culture.

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