Professional travelling musicians to be exempt from quarantine regulations

4 December 2020, 09:58

Arts professionals in England now exempt from quarantine
Arts professionals in England now exempt from quarantine. Picture: PA

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

‘Performing artists’ are on the new list of professions exempt from quarantine on returning to England, come Saturday.

Travelling musicians and other performing artists will no longer have to self-isolate, even if returning to England from a country not on the travel corridors list.

Performing artists are one of a group of “business travellers” now exempt from quarantine, starting from 4am on Saturday 5 December.

Others include “high value” business travellers, journalists, TV production staff and recently signed elite sportspeople.

Announcing the move on Twitter, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new exemptions are “subject to specific criteria being met”, and full guidance will come “soon”.

He added the move will allow “more travel to support the economy and jobs” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: How coronavirus tiers affect live music and performing arts in the UK >

In a statement, the Association of British Orchestras said: “We are delighted to announce that the ABO and other stakeholders have been able to secure an exemption from quarantine regulations for professional performing artists travelling to the UK and for those returning from activity overseas (who have upcoming work commitments).

“Arts Council England will be publishing guidance shortly on how the exemption will be applied.

“This exemption will apply initially to England only. Its extension to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will need ministerial approval from their respective governments.”

The Department for Transport said these particular sectors were chosen because they “require specific, high-talent individuals who rely on international connections”.

It added: “PHE (Public Health England) do not anticipate these changes will raise the risk of domestic transmission, due to the protocols being put in place around these exemptions, however all exemptions will remain under review.”