Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Updates and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Updates and guidance

Please find here the latest government advice, industry guidance and updates on the Coronavirus situation.

Please continue to email ceooffice@soltukt.co.uk with any questions, comments and / or concerns.   

SOLT & UK Theatre webinars

  • Webinar for Freelancers, Self-employed, Casting and Agents - Thursday 29 April at 11:30am - 12:15pm. To register, please click here. This webinar will be BSL interpreted and captioned.

If you have missed any of our previous webinars you can find the recording in the Webinar recordings tab below.

Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF) 2 Analysis
We have conducted analysis of CRF2 which includes looking at recipients categorised by ‘theatre’, but also where our members are categorised as different disciplines. We have also broken the data down by region and commercial / subsidised. To view the analysis, please visit the UK Theatre Advocacy Page (for UK Theatre members) and the SOLT Advocacy Page (for SOLT members). The information is under the ‘Data’ drop down.

Performing Arts Guidance update - 15 April
Key updates include confirmation that venues that are permitted to open at Step 2 and can operate as hospitality venues (such as grassroots music venues) may provide ancillary performance activity, such as live music, for their seated food and / or drink customers outdoors at Step 2 (Section 2.1). There are also further details on workplace testing (1.10) and a new section on ventilation which will be helpful for those venues looking to reopen in step 3 (5.5). Please always refer to the full guidance which can be found here.

Performing Arts Guidance update - 12 April
Section 1.5 of the performing arts guidance has been updated
 with details about how contract tracing will be implemented in venues as they reopen. Every customer or visitor will now be required to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details, not just the lead member of a group. This is to ensure everyone receives the necessary public health advice in a timely manner. This is being implemented across all sectors and is centralised. You can read the full guidance here.

COVID-19 Vaccine / Certification Consultations
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has launched an inquiry into COVID-19 Vaccine Certification. The deadline for this is 3 May. Please note - this is separate, but related to the Cabinet Office’s consultation on COVID-Status Certification Review which closes on Monday.

UK Theatre and SOLT are responding to both. However, please note there are many opinions across the sector, so we encourage others to input if they would like to.

Budget 2021

Following the Budget announcement, we have published our statement on the SOLT and UK Theatre websites. You can also read a summary of the measures announced here. For many of the key elements, there is no more additional information available from government at this stage - we will update you as more details are released.

Reopening roadmap

The Prime Minister has announced the proposed roadmap for the removal of restrictions. The full detail is here.

There are 4 stages of reopening – theatre and venues reopen in steps 3 and 4 as follows:

Step 3 will take place no earlier than 17 May, and at least five weeks after Step 2, following a further review of the data and the four tests. Again, the Government will announce one week in advance whether restrictions will be eased as planned.

Sectors which will reopen include:

  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas
  • Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events. Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted, as will outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
  • The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower. In addition, pilots will run as part of the Events Research Programme to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.

Step 4 will take place no earlier than 21 June, and at least five weeks after Step 3, following a further review of the data against the four tests. As before, the Government will announce one week in advance whether restrictions will be eased as planned. With appropriate mitigations in place, by Step 4, the Government aims to:

  • Remove all legal limits on social contact, publishing accompanying guidance on how best to reduce the risk of transmission and protect ourselves and loved ones;
  • Reopen the remaining closed settings, including nightclubs and enable large events, including theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme and potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation.

Mayor announces £5m plan to support safe reopening of Central London
Sadiq Khan has announced proposals to invest £5m to support the reopening of central London, including a drive to attract Londoners and UK tourists back to hard-hit retail, hospitality, and cultural venues. The Mayor wants domestic tourism to be at the heart of London’s drive to ‘build back better’ and will focus on putting jobs and the economy at the heart of post-pandemic planning. 
You can read more here.

#WeMakeEvents – The Government Can’t See Us, Can You?
#WeMakeEvents is calling on the Government – in an open letter to Rishi Sunak – to halt the destruction of the sector by recognising the impact of the pandemic on the live event supply chain, to support individuals and businesses to survive while they cannot work, and to engage with the sector to develop a plan for reopening, including Government-backed COVID-19 cancellation insurance. The campaign is asking the public to contribute their voices and opinions through social media and by writing to their MP – urging the Government to address this crippling situation now. Please download social media assets that you can use and please amplify the message on your channels if you can.

Skills Whitepaper
The Government has today published the long-awaited Skills Whitepaper. 
Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth is important as it reviews and prioritises education needs in line with labour market needs. These needs should reflect the changing environment: a post-Brexit UK, more automation and advancement in technologies, alongside the need to ‘build back fairer’ in terms of diversity, equality and inclusion post COVID-19. Although it doesn’t mention the self-employed, we will raise with DCMS and the DFE that we would like to see consideration given to training routes that directly support this crucial section of our workforce.

The Paper is important for the theatre sector’s current and future workforce. It directly mentions the creative sector and technical education and highlights that Government has heard our needs in terms of closing skills gaps and helping deliver on the Industrial Strategy.

One of the most important parts of the paper is that it recognises and discusses the need for more flexibilities in apprenticeships. UK Theatre and SOLT sit on the Creative Industries Council’s FE & HE Group, as well as its Apprenticeships and T-Levels Group. Through this group we have made the theatre sector’s workforce’s needs heard. Whether this is in terms of thinking about how T Level placements could work in the industry, or the need for greater flexibilities in apprenticeships so the sector can take on more apprentices. For example, is it possible to have shorter placements to fit in line with the way the theatre sector works – enabling more theatre businesses to get involved, especially SMEs. Government has acknowledged this: ‘One of the barriers is the varied and flexible employment patterns that mean an apprentice and their employer are unable to commit to the minimum 12-month apprenticeship duration. We want to support apprentices and employers to make use of apprenticeships in sectors where short-term, project-based employment is the norm…’

Another item in their list of recommendations is to collect comprehensive workforce data collection. We would welcome this, especially if it reaches beyond school leavers, and collects more details on mid-career and also on freelancers for instance.

Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes
It has been announced that the furlough scheme will extend until the end of April 2021. The government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pensions for hours worked; and NICs and pensions for hours not worked. The latest information can be found here.

Letter to Fiona Hyslop MSP

UK Theatre is a member of Culture Counts. Culture Counts has written to Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, to ask for the announcement of a three-year culture budget in January 2021. As we know, the culture sector has experienced an awful year, with precarious-work quickly turning into no-work for many. The high levels of precarious work that exist in the sector, caused in part by uncertainty and the inability to plan ahead, have a knock-on impact on its lack of diversity. 

Advocacy documents

Below are some of the advocacy documents we have sent out on the subject of COVID 19. 

For further guidance and advice, please visit the Government Guidance Library.   

UK-wide    

The Government has opened up two new communications channels for business: 

HMRC Business Support Helpline – 0800 024 1222 
Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service: To use this free service, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

You can also visit the Government's COVID-19 support pages for businesses here:

England/UK wide: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

Wales: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-business-and-employers

Scotland: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

               

Workplace testing programme expands to offer free rapid home testing

In the next major push for the Government’s workplace testing programme, all employers will now be able to offer their employees free, rapid and regular testing that can be taken at home. If you are interested, you should register by 12 April by clicking here.

COVID-19 funding
Three announcements have been made on funding in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:

  • Scotland: ‘A further £17.5 million of emergency Coronavirus (COVID-19) funding has been allocated to support creative freelancers and the events sector.’
  • Northern Ireland: ‘Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said that £10million of funding being offered today to a wide range of arts and creative organisations, will help stabilise the sector which has been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.’
  • Wales: ‘Further £8.9 million to support creative sector freelancers.’

Performing Arts Guidance – Updates
The guidance for Performing Arts working safely during COVID-19 has now been updated following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January. 

From 5 January, new national restrictions have been put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. During this period, performing arts venues can continue to operate under Stages 1 and 2 of the performing arts roadmap. This means that:

  • Performing arts professionals may continue to rehearse and train, and perform for broadcast or recording purposes
  • Other than for this purpose, theatres, concert halls, grassroots music venues and entertainment venues must close. Professional dancers may continue to use dance studios.
  • Non-professional activity, such as amateur choirs and orchestra, cannot take place.
  • Indoor and outdoor performances with an audience cannot take place.
  • You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.

Job Support Scheme

  • replaces the Job Retention Scheme
  • rather than being made redundant, employees will work on a part time basis: employers pay for the hours worked, while the Government and employer pay a further third each of the remaining hours not worked
    • this will mean employers paying a slightly larger contribution than the hours that an employee works (HMT infographic)
  • all SMEs are eligible, however non-SMEs will be exempt unless their turnover has fallen
  • open to companies who have not previously used the Job Retention Scheme
  • employers who take up the Job Support Scheme can continue to claim the Job Retention Bonus
  • self-employed grant extended on the same conditions as Job Support Scheme - you can read the factsheet here

Pay as you Grow

  • bounce-back loans extended from 6 to 10 years, "nearly halving monthly payments"
  • payments can be suspended for up to six months and credit rating unaffected
  • Government will continue to guarantee Coronavirus interruption loans for up to ten years
  • deadline for loan applications has been extended to the end of this year
  • a successor loan programme will begin in January
  • businesses can spread their VAT bill over eleven smaller repayments with no interest

VAT

  • will remain at the reduced rate of 5% for hospitality and tourism sector until no sooner than 31 March 2021

HMT has published the Winter Economy Plan update in full and a press release on the announcement. The following factsheets can be viewed for reference:

New HMRC employment status guidance for performers, stage management and creatives 

As you know, over a lengthy period we have been working with HMRC alongside Equity and media sector representatives on HMRC’s guidance for determining the employment status (for tax purposes) of performers, stage management, directors, designers and choreographers. We are pleased to say that the guidance, which has been incorporated into HMRC’s Employment Status Manual (links below), has now been finalised and published.

This is now the main sectoral guidance for these roles, and we hope that it will assist members in determining employment status for these roles. A key point is that HMRC has confirmed the long-established position that most performers will be self-employed for tax purposes.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the Legal Team.

Actors and other performers:

Stage management:

Designers, directors and choreographers:

Arts Map launched - Add / claim your listing

The Public Campaign for the Arts has launched the Arts Map, a new online platform to grow and express support for arts organisations in local communities across the UK. 

The Arts Map enables anyone to type in their postcode, check the status of arts organisations nearby, and show support for them with messages and donations. You can receive all messages for use in your fundraising and advocacy.

To find out more and to register, visit https://www.campaignforthearts.org/map/

SOLT and UK Theatre form partnership with Arts Inc to diversify theatre workforce    

BME Arts organisations and individuals working across heritage, visual and performance arts have joined forces to form a collective voice for those in the sector from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
 
SOLT and UK Theatre have today announced a partnership with Inc Arts to diversify theatre workforces, and support its members’ engagement with BME staff.
 

The collective aims to work across art forms, job roles and positions of seniority to create long-term solutions to diversify the workforce, and support people of colour who work in the arts. Inc Arts will do this through leading on advocacy and research to drive evidence-based positive change, and provide a support network for the BME arts workforce. Click here to read more.

Guidance on potential alternatives to making employees redundant      
SOLT and UK Theatre have produced 
guidance on some potential alternatives to making redundancies in response to the current Coronavirus situation.
 
SOLT and UK Theatre have advised BECTU that SOLT and UK Theatre members are considering retainer arrangements as alternatives to redundancy for some staff. BECTU are supportive in principle but they stress that such arrangements must be subject to individual agreement with the employees concerned and, in the absence of a significant element of contractual pay continuing to be paid, the employee would still be entitled to claim that they are redundant and receive all contractual and statutory payments due.


UK Theatre and Equity Commercial Theatre Agreement – COVID-19 Variation Agreement

UK Theatre and Equity have worked together to agree a variation to the Commercial Theatre Agreement for Actors and Stage Management designed to assist with the recovery of the industry and in particular, the touring sector.

Other than stated in the document, all of the other terms and conditions remain as set out in the CTA.

Trade Credit Insurance guarantee launched 

Theatre businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus should have a look at this latest support scheme from government.

Purple Seven & TRG Arts provide venue dashboards to assist with recovery planning  

Purple Seven and TRG Arts are providing all interested venues access to their own online dashboard of key metrics demonstrating the impact COVID-19 is having on their organisation. This dashboard will enable organisations to benchmark your dataset against your peers, and provides a range of key metrics, to assist you in short and long-term recovery planning.  The data given is provided in almost real-time, making it extremely accurate and useful for business planning. 

As part of this arrangement, SOLT & UK Theatre will also have access to country-wide data, to enable us to compile information which we can use to lobby government. There is no charge for signing up to and accessing your dashboard, and organisations should be able to sign up within a matter of days. The online sign-up process is quick and easy, via this link

Managing Financial Difficulties: guidance and a toolkit for arts and cultural organisations

Created in partnership with Arts Council England this new guidance and toolkit has been developed with the aim of offering practical, realistic and holistic support to organisations as they come to terms with and respond to financial crises.  It draws on Dawn and Susan’s extensive experience of working with organisations in financial difficulty, including Susan’s work as an insolvency practitioner and Dawn’s role as Director, Organisational Development at the Arts Council.

The materials were created before the current crisis hit but the advice, tools and templates could scarcely be more relevant.

_________________

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland – funding

On 3 September the Arts Council of Northern Ireland opened the Organisations Emergency Programme (OEP) in a second call to arts and cultural organisations across Northern Ireland.

Scotland

Scottish 2021-22 Budget
Today Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes MSP set out the
budget. In terms of culture, it’s a budget of £176.7 million for culture and major events that will support ongoing delivery of A Culture Strategy for Scotland, focused on three main ambitions: strengthening culture, transforming through culture and empowering through culture. Some relevant headlines for the theatre sector:

  • The Budget will invest in a diverse and resilient culture sector in Scotland, including: £63.2 million for our creative industries and the creative economy, including Screen Scotland and Creative Scotland; £77.7 million for the national collections, maintaining free access to the permanent collections.
  • £22.9 million for the five National Performing Companies, ensuring Scotland’s unique culture reaches a wide audience, both digitally and through live performances once safe to resume.
  • £75.9 million for Historic Environment Scotland, caring for our heritage and communities, creating local training and employment and supporting the maintenance of traditional craft skills.

Scotland - Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee
On 28 January the Committee
heard evidence on the - Impact of COVID-19 on Scotland's cultural sector. Witnesses included: Federation of Scottish Theatre; Writers Guild of Great Britain; and BECTU. It was broadcast live and we will share the transcript when it becomes available.

Scotland’s Work programme - National Partnership for Culture (NPC)
The Partnership has agreed the
work programme that it will undertake during 2021 based on initial priority areas of focus, cross-cutting principles and with the recovery and renewal of the culture sector in Scotland at its heart:

  • cross-cutting theme: promoting the recovery and renewal of the culture sector in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • cross-cutting principles: (i) Improving joined-up government (ii) Supporting a Human Rights-based approach (iii) Increased equality, diversity and inclusion
  • priority themes: (i) Wellbeing (particularly mental health) (ii) Fair work (iii) Culture in education (including skills) (iv) Measuring Change.’

Emergency COVID funding for the Performing Arts - Scotland
Three organisations will receive a share of £3 million of additional funding as part of the ongoing
emergency Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for culture. These are:

  • Aberdeen Performing Arts – which runs His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen Music Hall and The Lemon Tree – will receive £1.4 million;
  • Eden Court Highlands – Scotland's largest single-site arts venue – will receive £800,000;
  • Capital Theatres – which operates the Festival Theatre, the King’s Theatre and The Studio in Edinburgh – will receive £800,000.

Guidance for the performing arts and venues sector - Scotland
The Scottish government on Friday 21 August published their guidance for the performing arts and venues sector both professional and non-professional and it sets out the expectations on what businesses and organisations of all sizes and sub-sectors need to consider as part of their planning for restart. 

Wales

Welsh Government: Creative industries statistics
The Welsh Government has released its
statistics on the creative industries and the economy and labour market for 2019.

Rehearsing, performing and taking part in the performing arts: guidance for a phased return
The Welsh Government
have published guidelines on performing and rehearsing in the arts sector and taking part in the performing arts. At present Theatres and Concert Halls are unable to open, this guidance has been developed to set out principles to be considered in order to support the return to work.

Find out if you are eligible for support from the Welsh Cultural Recovery Fund

The Eligibility Checker for the Cultural Recovery Fund went live on Tuesday 1 September. There will also be a £7 million fund for freelancers to support individuals in the sector who have been impacted by the pandemic. Please visit the eligibility checker to find more detail for this fund.

Liberty Open Call: R&D grants for D/deaf and disabled artists
Applications are open until 30 June for Research & Development projects by London based D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists or organisations. £70,000 of grant funding available is for projects ranging from £3,000 to £10,000 and successful applicants will be invited to share their project’s work-in-progress as part of Lewisham’s London Borough of Culture Opening event in January 2022.

‘Proposals are invited for engaging and thought-provoking projects suitable for outdoor, indoor or digital presentation. All artforms are welcome, including music, visual art, comedy, poetry, street theatre and dance, digital art, participatory installations, workshops and other events.’

SEISS extended

The Self Employed Scheme (SEISS) has also had a small uplift with 80% of average trading profits being paid in November, and then reverting to the previously announced 40% for December and January – this increases the overall total level for this upcoming grant to 55% of trading profits. Those eligible will now be able to claim from the end of November. Note there has been no movement on those who have previously been ineligible for a SEISS grant. Details as announced are here.

Graeae's BEYOND programme 

Graeae have just launched new programme BEYOND, to help transform the careers of Deaf and disabled artists (at all stages of their practice), by offering space, advice, mentoring and support. The programme is being run in partnership with 8 theatres across the North East, North West, and East Midlands: Cast Doncaster, Curve Leicester, Hull Truck Theatre, Live Theatre Newcastle, Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse, Octagon Bolton and Shakespeare North Playhouse. 

Applications from Deaf and disabled artists are now open (no deadline, rolling application process) and we’d be really grateful if you can help to spread the word through your social media accounts and to any relevant databases - especially if you’re NE, NW or Midlands based.

The web page with full info can be found here, and a tweet that can be shared can be found here. For any further information on the programme, please email laura@graeae.org

#SceneChange - Designers unite to support freelance theatre creatives
A group of leading Theatre Designers have formed #SceneChange – a Community that brings designers together at a moment of great uncertainty for the theatre industry and its creative professionals, to join in conversation and explore how to navigate a way through this time. It will provide a platform for all theatre set and costume designers, established and emerging, associates and assistants. It also offers a place for freelance creatives from all theatre disciplines to join in dialogue, share experience and tackle the challenges ahead.

The #SceneChange website offers a valuable resource, with a blog from designers across the spectrum, an open forum, information on support and emergency funding for freelancers and artists, as well as providing a community and network at this challenging time. They are also hosting a number of events via Zoom to discuss and share experiences on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and to bring people together at a time of increasing isolation: https://www.scene-change.com/surgeries

Freelancers Make Theatre Work  
A community set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by an independent voluntary group of freelance theatre makers, advocating for all UK theatre freelancers and the industry as a whole.
As a collective voice, they hope to reinforce the important work that some of you are already doing, ask that you share these details with any freelancers in your community. They welcome any suggestions you may have both now and in the future, about how to support each other through this unprecedented crisis.

www.FreelancersMakeTheatreWork.com is an environment where organisations and individuals can share conversations in order to maintain a cohesive voice for the theatre industry.

See this e-flyer for a summary of initial intentions and ambitions.

It is important that we reach as many freelance artists as we can at this time, and anything you can do to spread the word would be greatly appreciated.

SEISS

  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended - with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant capped at £6,570.
  • Applications for the second grant will open in August. Individuals will be able to claim a second taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering three months’ worth of profits.

Open letter to theatre and performance makers

A number of organisations have sent an open letter to their networks of freelancers. The letter recognises the extremely perilous position that these freelancers are in and is part of a campaign to bring their plight to the attention of the government as it enters discussions with the arts sector on how best it can recover.    

Paul Hamlyn Foundation COVID-19 funds  

The PHF has set up a number of funds for artists, writers, composers etc.

Theatrical Charities  

Please visit the newly launched website. Please do share and retweet our social posts about this initiative. 

Press – Insurance message
Please can we ask that you use the below messaging or a version of this in your press releases in relation to insurance. We will be adding the below to our media briefing notes, and we continue to lobby government on this issue.

Opening the show is subject to the government allowing indoor performances to begin by then with sufficient notice, understanding what restrictions on social distancing and audience number caps are imposed, the public health status, and the availability of insurance cover either from the market or more likely from a government indemnity scheme.

#BackOnStage social media campaign 

We are launching a social media campaign with the hashtag #BackOnStage to celebrate shows as they return. We want everyone to get involved - from cast, to front and back of house, to audiences - by using the hashtag when your show reopens, as well as supporting other shows as they open. Here is how you can get involved:

  1. In the run up to reopening, share videos of the cast, backstage team or venue employees talking about how excited they are to be back and reminding ticket holders to use the hashtag #BackOnStage when posting about their experience of the show.
  2. After the bows, have a cast member do a shoutout to ask audiences to share their experience of being back at the theatre using the hashtag and tagging the show.
  3. Take a picture or video of the audience on opening night and post with the hashtag.
  4. Incentivise followers to use the hashtag by saying you’ll repost your favourite experiences. Share the best posts from audience members and other productions.
  5. Get in touch with us to organise a #BackOnStage-themed Instagram takeover or Vlog early in the run (please email jess@soltukt.co.uk and frankie@soltukt.co.uk)
  6. As shows begin to reopen, record your cast saying a ‘break a leg message’ for their opening night and celebrate their success by retweeting their #BackOnStage content.
  7. Include #BackOnStage in any promotional and organic online content. Include it in your social copy to spread awareness to those across all platforms.

Get in touch with your press releases and show openings 
If you have any press releases to share for a new show or a show reopening, please get in touch on news@soltukt.co.uk so we can cover any stories on Official London Theatre and in our media briefings.

Audience/consumer research: insight highlights

The SOLT / UK Theatre Research Group has gathered evidence of consumer sentiment and behaviour from over 25 authoritative research sources in order to inform the sector’s efforts to successfully reopen Theatre in a way which offers audiences confidence to return and incentives to do so.  

This first document offers a summary of findings and an interpretation of what this means for the theatre sector. It is a snapshot of current attitudes - we continue to monitor and update the available data on an ongoing basis.

SOLT and UK Theatre would like to give huge thanks to Richard Huntrods for all his work on this project. We would also like to thank the whole Audience Research Group for their continuing support, and thank you to those who have contributed valuable research to this document.

We are aiming to update this document every month or so, or whenever significant political announcements or social shifts require us to review the available data.  

Season for Change 

Season for Change is a nationwide programme of artistic and cultural events that celebrate the environment and inspire urgent climate action. The Season for Change Toolkit is an open-source, online collection of resources to help you to embed environmentalism into your practice.

Guidance for businesses returning to work after the lockdown

The London Fire Brigade have prepared guidance for businesses regarding fire safety matters they you may wish to consider when returning to your premises and here you can download a Returning to the workplace after the COVID-19 lockdown toolkit.

Protecting pedestrian queues from Vehicle As a Weapon (VAW) Attack

CPNI and NaCTSO have issued further guidance on the risk to pedestrians from Vehicle As a Weapon (VAW) attacks. Social distancing measures will require businesses to manage customers flows and numbers going into premises. In order to minimise the risk to queues of people, organisations can take practical and achievable steps to either deter or disrupt a Vehicle As a Weapon Attack.

Increased risk of Cyber-attack during Covid-19
Cyber criminals are using COVID-19 to increase their activities to attack organisations and private individuals.  Extra awareness is required to ensure we defeat these attacks and our Insurance partners Tysers Insurance Brokers & Ecclesiastical Insurance have provided information in assisting you with this   

https://www.ecclesiastical.com/risk-management/managing-risk-covid-19/cyber-security/

https://www.ecclesiastical.com/documents/cyber-safety-guide.pdf 

Top 5 priorities for temporarily closed properties

Many organisations in the UK have had to temporarily shut down their venues for a period of time and any building that is temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied can be at greater risk form arson, antisocial behaviour such as vandalism or squatters, theft, and escape of water.

This link provides guidance from our insurance partners Tysers Insurance Brokers & Ecclesiastical Insurance Company in respect of managing temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 Cyber Threat Exploitation

Following an increase in malicious activities with themes related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) targeting individuals and enterprises around the world, the National Cyber Security Centre have issued guidance on how to defend your organisation and employees from password spraying and phishing attacks, and how to safely use communication platforms.

Protecting against Mandate Fraud

The Government’s Counter Fraud Function yesterday issued new guidance on Mandate Fraud. The document provides details on how organisations can respond to this form of fraudulent activity which has increased during the COVID-19 response.

Health & Safety Software and Virtual Learning

Blue Lemon are offering the accident reporting module of their full management system free of charge to members, this include the ability to report accidents live and track any trends which may be present in your venue with the ability to eventually benchmark yourself against the whole industry. Contact richard.beale@blhealthandsafety.co.uk for more information. In addition RB Health & Safety courses are now being run virtually, meaning you can ensure staff are up to date on critical training before the venues are back in operation. There is a range of courses which can be run in this format, contact charlotte.collyer@rbhealthandsafety.co.uk or go to www.rbhealthandsafety.co.uk for more information.

Security Self-Assessment

CPNI have created a checklist to assist organisations in understanding its strengths and weaknesses with respect to organisational security assurance during a Pandemic such as COVID-19.

RIDDOR - reporting Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

HSE has issued details of when and how you should report Coronavirus incidents under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). You must only make a report under RIDDOR, relating to Coronavirus, when:

  • an unintended incident at work has led to someone's possible or actual exposure to Coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
  • a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
  • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to Coronavirus.

UK Protect Bulletin

NaCTSO have released a new Protect Bulletin providing security Information for the Business Community. This bulletin features news on closed premises, remote working & ACT training.

Cyber Risk

Sadly a number of people are being exploited by cyber criminals. This is a joint advisory document from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber-security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The document features detection and mitigation techniques.

Counter Terrorism Training

NaCTSO have made their online counter terrorism training easier to access from home. In just 45 minutes, it explains how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and what to do to help yourself, others and the emergency responders if an attack should take place. The newly updated ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness e-Learning course is available here.

COVID Information website

The Cross-Sector Safety & Security Communications (CSSC) has entered into a partnership with a very useful website titled 'The Covid Telegraph'. This new site has accumulated facts, articles and advice in relation to the Covid-19 virus, all from trusted sources and verified by leading experts. The link to the Telegraph is here.

Venue Operations 
We face new challenges and hazards in regard to partly occupied or empty buildings. Assurity Consulting have created a series of advice papers on what you should be carrying out to ensure compliance and safety control measures at this time:

Training   

For a limited time only NCRQ are offering their Safety for Managers online qualification free of charge. NCRQ Safety for Managers is a two-day online qualification that is suitable for managers and supervisors in any sector. Delegates will gain nationally recognised qualification to help manage operations and teams safely once everyone returns to work. Sign up here.

Downloadable resources

 

New survey on mental health for creative freelancers & entrepreneurs

the hub are asking creative freelancers and entrepreneurs to take part in a new survey they’ve launched during Mental Health Awareness Week, that explores the impact Covid 19 has had so far and the kinds of support they’d find most useful over the coming months. Survey findings will be shared with government and funders to inform their sector support, and also help the hub shape its new BALANCE programme, designed to help freelancers and independents balance their minds as well as their books.

Please add your voice to the mix, and take part in the survey, which you’ll find here. And please share it if you can, too. Thanks!

Wellbeing and COVID-19 

We know that our members are concerned with how the current crisis is impacting people’s wellbeing and mental health. We understand that you are trying to support your employees and colleagues however possible to navigate this difficult time. On Tuesday, we held a meeting with our Wellbeing committee which was created earlier this year as part of our ongoing work around promoting safer and more supportive working practices. We discussed some practical ways in which we can support you and your organisations and have created a page dedicated to wellbeing for the sector. We also need your help – please could you send us information to ceooffice@soltukt.co.uk about how you are supporting staff (either who are furloughed or still working), and we will collate them and share to encourage best practice.

Health benefits of creativity during COVID

The Welsh NHS Confederation and the Arts Council of Wales are highlighting the health benefits creativity can have on the wellbeing of the population during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Home working ergonomics & Wellbeing

With the extended lockdown, promoting the health & safety of your workers is vital. IOSH have created guidance to explain how we can help develop a positive mindset when working remotely.  

We also have a duty of care to ensure risks to workers are properly managed. IOSH have further advice and guidance for the ergonomics of working from home. 


Get in touch

32 Rose Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9ET

+44 (0)20 7557 6700

  • White Light
  • Charcoal Blue
  • Theatre Tokens
  • UK Theatre Insurance
  • Spektrix
  • John Good
"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.