Roadmap to reopening and leisure-time music groups

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 22 February and subsequent announcements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Making Music has updated its coronavirus guidance tool to reflect what the roadmaps to reopening mean for leisure-time music groups in the four nations of the UK.


29 March – 6 people can meet outdoors, including backgardens, meaning informal small rehearsals in an open space can resume.

The next dates are all ‘no earlier than’ and therefore may be pushed back if the data the government is given does not support further lifting of restrictions. There are to be at least five weeks between each date. Government is looking for four conditions to be met before moving to the next step:

  1. The vaccination programme continues at speed
  2. Evidence continues to support the view that vaccines are effective
  3. The pressure on the NHS is easing
  4. The risk assessment is not affected by new variants and mutations

12 April - In the government's Reopening businesses and venues in England guidance, ‘Outdoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions: that they comply with COVID-Secure guidance.’ This gives the go-ahead for outdoor rehearsals

17 May – outdoor and indoor rehearsals and performances can resume, subject to mitigations including social distancing and a full risk assessment.

21 June – all restrictions lifted on indoor and outdoor rehearsals and performances.

This does not mean mitigations will no longer be required – the government will be reporting and issuing guidance separately on when mitigations such as social distancing, face coverings, hygiene and ventilation will no longer be necessary. It is likely they will continue to be necessary for another 6-12 months. Vaccination of group members does not remove the requirement for other mitigations, nor is it possible to make vaccination mandatory for a return to rehearsals.

An update to the Performing Arts guidance has been promised for the week beginning 8 March. 

Making Music publishes a full set of resources for member groups on the safe return to rehearsals, including risk assessments, surveys and poster templates. See all our resources on Covid-19.

Scotland will return to a protection level system from 26 April and we are seeking clarification if the referenced restart of leisure activities will include leisure-time music activities, and at what protection level. Their relevant guidance will be updated w/c 15 March.

Wales will be announcing the next steps in the roadmap out of lockdown on 15 March.

Northern Ireland’s lockdown will continue at least until 1 April, with a review of next steps to take place on 18 March.

See our coronavirus guidance tool for our interpretation of the latest government guidance.

Guidance tool