News: What Tier 4 move means for musicians in England Jump to main content

News: What Tier 4 move means for musicians in England

New tier 4 for England

The UK government has announced that London, and areas in the South East and East of England will move from Tier 3 to new Tier 4 COVID-19 restrictions from Sunday 20 December 2020 for an initial two-week period.

The new tier 4 is called ‘Stay at home’, and the new Coronavirus Regulations which underpin these restrictions state that 'No person who lives in the Tier 4 area may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.'

The overall direction of the new Tier 4 restrictions mirrors closely the provisions of the lockdown in force in England between 5 November and 2 December, with a large number of businesses and venues required by law to close while Tier 4 restrictions are in force.

Implications for musicians

We will need some clarifications from government on the Regulations and new guidance, but here is what we know so far. We are also still awaiting updates to guidance for the performing arts, schools and out of schools settings, which may contain more detail.


Schools and colleges will remain open during term time in Tier 4 areas and you are permitted to travel for work. Schools will operate a staggered return.

Rehearsals and live performance

No live performance with audiences is permitted in any venue. However theatres and concert halls may open for rehearsals without an audience subject to the usual COVID-safe precautions.

Private music teachers

The guidance states that people are permitted to leave their homes for ‘education related to the formal curriculum or training…and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training.’

This mirrors the position in the November England lockdown in that attendance at organised activities for children will only be possible if it means that by allowing their child to attend such activities, the parent or guardian of a child will therefore be free to work, or look for work or undertake their own education or training.

It seems likely that private face to face teaching will not be permitted in Tier 4 areas so you should prepare to move your teaching online. We will update you as soon as possible.

Amateur choirs and ensembles

We have asked the Government to clarify whether the performing arts guidance for amateur choirs and ensembles will be update in the light of the new Tier 4 and what restrictions may apply.

Carol singing in Tier 4 is only permitted as part of an act of worship and no congregational singing is permitted in any Tier 4 venue which is permitted to open.