The U.K. government has announced plans to end its lockdown during the next five months, with venues set to open beginning in mid-May. Nightclubs could return 6/21.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a four-stage plan guided by “data rather than dates.” Should all go accordingly, pubs and indoor venues with up to 1,000 attendees or half capacity, whichever is less, are set to open beginning 5/17. Outdoor performances will have a limit of 4,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is lower. Seated outdoor performances will be restricted to 10,000 people or 25% of capacity.

If conditions are met, legal limits on capacity will be removed beginning 6/21, nightclubs will reopen and large events will resume. Reviews will be conducted along the process, including pilot events starting in April that will test the effects of larger crowds and/or reduced social distancing.

Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd welcomed the news but pushed for sector-specific financial support “to mitigate the damage being done to businesses and people's lives, careers and families” in the live music industry and stressed that “in light of today's announcements, the budget next week must clearly lay out exactly how the government is going to provide that sector-specific support.”

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin emphasized the need for government-backed insurance in particular; “The prospect of there being no legal impediments to live music events means issues like insurance are now even more pressing,” he said. “They now present one of the final barriers to getting events going this summer."