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U.K. REOPENING DATE CONFIRMED

The U.K. has confirmed that the 7/19 reopening plan will go ahead. PM Boris Johnson has advised venues and event organizers to ask for proof of a negative test or vaccination from attendees.

The proof would be shown in the form of a COVID passport via the National Health Service (NHS) app, which has been a source of contention in the U.K. Although Johnson’s advice isn’t mandatory, the government said it “reserves the right” to enforce the recommendation at any point.

Greg Parmley, CEO of trade body LIVE, welcomed the reopening confirmation but raised three matters to be “urgently resolved” to help aid the live industry’s path to recovery. The first is government-backed insurance that covers cancellation should restrictions return.

Parmley also pointed out that isolation rules shouldn’t apply to those who’ve been vaccinated or tested negative in order to ensure events have the staff and performers they need. “We are already seeing productions collapsing due to the need to isolate whole casts or crew when one person in a bubble contracts COVID,” he said.

In addition, international artists should be exempt from quarantine when arriving in the U.K.—an exemption that professional elite sports have obtained, Parmley noted.

"Today's announcement is a crucial step forward and we have worked day and night over the past year to ensure that live events can return safety," he said. "However, barriers still remain which will severely impede the recovery of this £4.6b industry."

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