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Equity releases guidance for returning to work in live performance

The guidance runs in tandem with that announced by the UK government last week

Minack Theatre
© Liz Smith

Creative union Equity has released further guidance on how to stage safe performances while lockdown restrictions are eased.

According to the organisation, the guidance will run in tandem with government guidance released late last week, and provides Equity members with a further run-down of what needs to be remembered when going out on stage.

The Equity guidance is split into two parts, one section for performers and creatives who are employed to work for others, while the second is for those who are working for themselves.

The union has highlighted that an even more thorough risk assessment must be carried out by producers and engagers. Equity states: "the assessment will show what steps can be taken to minimise risk (social distancing, hand sanitiser, hand washing facilities, and so on) and that action should be taken before rehearsals begin."

Equity has also highlighted how the pandemic can be especially detrimental for Black people and other people of colour, as well as people with underlying conditions, disabled people and older people. They also remind performers that "hard-won equality legislation still applies and is not replaced or altered by this guidance" and that individuals should not be "discriminated against on the grounds of a protected characteristic, including at work and in the pursuit of work opportunities."

Echoing government statements, Equity has reiterated that "singing and playing wind and brass instruments, especially in groups, are considered higher risk activities because of the potential for aerosol production and the absence presently of developed scientific analysis to assess this specific risk."

The union has reminded performers that, for sole traders, a capacity limit of 30 people in an outdoor space still applies. Public Liability Insurance is still valid as long as all participants overserve social distancing rules.

Read the government's guidance for staging shows here


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