Coronavirus: Indoor venues await latest lockdown review

UK
Frank Turner performs at The Clapham Grand Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Folk rocker Frank Turner played to a socially distanced audience at a gig in London in July

Indoor venues in Scotland including concert halls and theatres will learn later if they can reopen from Monday.

Nicola Sturgeon is due to announce any further changes to lockdown restrictions at her coronavirus briefing.

Venues, along with soft play centres, had been given 14 September as an indicative date to start reopening.

But with cases rising, the first minister has said she would adopt a “very cautious approach”.

Ms Sturgeon has also not ruled out introducing new restrictions following the latest three-weekly review of lockdown measures.

Recent figures indicate the average number of daily cases has trebled from three weeks ago.

At Wednesday’s briefing she said: “We are carefully reviewing existing guidance and regulation, as well as considering what new steps may be necessary to keep Covid under control.”

Boris Johnson has said that gatherings in England will from next week be restricted to a maximum of six, down from the previous limit of 30.

In Scotland indoor gatherings are currently restricted to eight people from a maximum of three different households.

Image caption Scotland’s music industry has warned many venues may not survive the coronavirus lockdown

The 14 September date was previously suggested for when indoor soft play areas, theatres and indoor live music venues could resume but not nightclubs.

The Scottish government, however, warned confirmation of this was “conditional on continued progress in suppressing the virus”.

If indoor venues do get the go-ahead to reopen, they will need to restrict numbers, enforce physical distancing and increase hygiene measures.

The latest review will also consider whether sports stadiums can open for limited numbers of spectators, with physical distancing in place.

A number of football clubs have plans in place for test events this weekend but the first minister hinted in her coronavirus briefing on Wednesday the return of fans may be delayed.

Scotland moved into phase three of the route map out of lockdown after the 9 July review but restrictions have been lifted in stages.

Some changes, such as the reopening of schools, have taken place but others have been held back until later in the phase.

The last phase-three review resulted in gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts being allowed to reopen from 31 August.