Coronavirus Covid-19 – Performances

This page has been compiled by Sally Wearing, our H&S Advisor.  Please bear in mind that it can take a few days between new guidance emerging and Sally reading it all and writing a summary. If you have further questions that the info below doesn’t answer … please email .

See all our Covid-19 pages:

Update on 20th July

This only applies to England. If you would like advice for other parts of the UK, please contact Sally Wearing at

Step 4 of the Government’s Roadmap started on 19th July, which means that performances can now take place outdoors or indoors. The performing arts guidance has been withdrawn, so the rest of this advice is based on the general government guidance about how to say safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19

Please do not automatically assume it is safe to drop all the restrictions (such as social distancing) when you are performing simply because the guidance allows you to. You need to decide which restrictions to keep, reduce or remove, taking into account how Covid-19 can be transmitted and the basic steps we should take to prevent it spreading. 

We strongly recommend that you read the Main Covid-19 page first, including the Government Guidance, before deciding whether and how to perform.  You should then consult all the members of your team about what they do or do not want to do. 

To perform or not to perform?

Before deciding whether and how to perform, you must first make sure that you can keep everyone involved safe: performers, audience and supporters.  You should review the new guidance for events and attractions, as this includes information about how to protect audiences as well as the participants.

The requirements are similar to those for practices, but you need to consider how to minimise the risk of transmission to and from people in the audience as well as between members of the team. Please make sure you comply with the guidance.

Close contact: one of the most important controls is to limit the close contact we have with people we do not live with. This means minimising the number of people we come into close contact with, how close we get and how long for. All close contact should be minimised; you should consider what other close contact people in your team have, such as at work or with other teams or doing other activities. You also need to consider what to do to help keep your audience safe. The government recommends increasing close contact gradually. 

Outdoor performances:  this is much the safest way to perform, as the risk of transmission is much lower outside.

Indoor performances:  you are allowed to perform inside, but the risk of transmission is greater. If you decide to perform indoors, you need to increase the ventilation as much as possible by introducing plenty of fresh air into the performance space.

Venues:  as usual, you need permission from the owners of the land. If you are performing at a venue or event run by a business or organisation, they need to comply with the applicable government guidance for events and attractions. This requires those in charge of the premises and/or event to assess the risks and put suitable controls in place to protect everyone involved, including turning people with Covid-19 symptoms away. providing adequate ventilation and cleaning more often. They should tell you what they have done to minimise the risk of transmission and what you need to do while at the venue or event.

You are responsible for managing the risks arising from your activities, e.g. dancing and playing music.  You should base your risk assessment on the information from the venue, adding further controls as necessary to make your performance safe for your team and audience.

We do not want to stop people performing but do want to make sure dance outs are safe. Not following the guidance may invalidate your insurance.

Risk Assessment for Performances

We recommend reviewing your existing risk assessment for performances to help you decide what controls you can remove or reduce and which you should keep in place to protect people:

  • consider each control in turn
  • keep all those that are related to legal requirements (e.g. asking people not to come to the performance if they have symptoms, have tested positive or are self-isolating)
  • decide which of the other controls you will keep in place, reduce or remove
  • agree the decisions with all of your team.

We strongly recommend keeping the most important controls in place, including minimising close contact, good ventilation if indoors, good personal hygiene, etc.

If you have not already done a risk assessment for performances, you can use the template risk assessment below, which covers outdoor performances. It is based on Step 3 of the Roadmap.  As above, we recommend reviewing each of the controls in it and deciding whether your team wants to keep them in place or not. 

Template Risk Assessment: This is provided in these formats:

You need to customise it to your team and venue; please start by reading these notes on How to use the Template Risk Assessments (PDF).  If you use the template, please send any comments, criticisms or suggestions for improvements to Sally at  She is always keen to get feedback.

Coronavirus picture


If you still have queries that the above doesn’t answer … please email

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