Live performances can take place in hospitality venues in Wales from Friday, but will still be subject to strict public health restrictions.
Groups are limited to up to six people from six households, while two metres social distancing is required for audiences, and also for performers “as far as it is practical”, according to updated Welsh Government guidance.
Venues must ensure there is “effective ventilation”, that one-way systems are put in place, and people continue to wear masks indoors.
After a lot of engagement with the sector, we’re happy to confirm live performances can begin once again in Wales across all settings.— Welsh Government Culture and Sport (@WG_Culture) May 27, 2021
Each venue will need a full risk assessment in line with our hospitality and performing guidance 👇https://t.co/i32XhUfUZl pic.twitter.com/h4J5pjwsmV
The easing of rules for live performances is immediate and will allow things like small gigs in pubs, bars, cafes and licensed premises for the first time since the first UK lockdown in March 2020.
First Minister Mark Drakeford told the PA news agency earlier this month that live music venues and nightclubs would not be considered for reopening until “towards the end of June and into July”.
On Friday a Welsh Government spokesperson told PA the new guidance “only applies to all hospitality settings, defined as music venues, bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants and licenced premises”.
“Further elements – for example, events, festivals – will be considered as part of the next review.”
No date has been given for the reopening of larger venues providing live performances or for events like outdoor music festivals.
Theatres and concert halls have been allowed to open in Wales since May 17.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “At this stage this is an amendment to the hospitality guidance only and is specific to hospitality settings, which are currently permitted to open.
“As the guidance makes clear, this amendment is still subject to the rules on events and regulated gatherings.
“It is also the case that, at present, nightclubs etc and other venues authorised to sell or supply alcohol where live or recorded music is provided for members of the public or of the venue to dance are not permitted to be open.
“We hope to allow larger events to take place at the earliest opportunity, on a phased basis, and this will be considered as part of the review next week and informed by the current programme of pilot events.”