Government guidelines

Following the announcement of new national lockdowns, Stay at Home guidance for England has been issued and supersedes all other guidance. Revised performing arts guidance was published on 6 January.

Guidance for the performing arts

Revised guidance for the Performing Arts in England was published by the DCMS on 14 August and previously revised on 21 August, 9 September, 17 September, 24 September, 16 October, 5 November, 1 December and 23 December. The latest update was published on 6 January to reflect the new lockdown.

  • Non-professional activity cannot take place.
  • Professionals may rehearse and perform for broadcast or recording purposes.
  • Performing arts venues can continue to operate under Stages 1 and 2 of the performing arts roadmap.
  • Indoor and outdoor performances with an audience cannot take place.

You are strongly recommended to read the guidance in full, which you can find here, also the suggested principles of safer singing.

Guidance for teachers

Full guidance for schools during lockdown can be found here. Information about music in schools is on page 42.

Guidance for out-of-school settings for children

Guidance updated 8 January.

For the duration of the national lockdown, wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings should only offer face-to-face provision for:

  • children of critical workers, where it is reasonably necessary to support their parents or carers to work, seek work, attend a medical appointment, or undertake education or training
  • vulnerable children and young people

We recommend reading the websites of our music education colleagues for more detail on education guidelines:

Music Mark


Guidance for musicians in places of worship in England

Guidance for places of worship was updated on 11 January and can be found here. In particular, take note of the section 'Singing, chanting and the use of musical instruments'.

  • Where singing or chanting is essential to an act of worship, this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so. Strict social distancing should be observed and the use of Plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers, and each other.
  • Communal singing should not take place. This applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
  • Chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should also be avoided in communal worship and and in rehearsals.
  • Where communal singing plays a big part in worship, and recordings are available, we suggest you use these as an alternative to live singing. If a place of worship hosts a professional group, for rehearsing or worship, you should follow the performing arts guidance.

The latest Church of England guidance can be found here and the RSCM's latest FAQs are here.

Guidance for Devolved Nations

Please note that the guidelines above apply to England only.

Guidance for Scotland (updated 8 January) is here.

Guidance Arts guidance for Wales is here and current lockdown guidance is here

General Arts guidance for Northern Ireland is here and current lockdown guidance is here

Again, there is more detailed information on the following websites:


Making Music

Musicians' Union

Community venues

Community venues are required to close during lockdown, other than for a small number of exempt activities.

Click here to go back to our main COVID-19 resource page and to find our risk assessment guidance.