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Government and public health guidance
Ongoing changes to official guidance

Official guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is rapidly changing. We will publish updates and clarifications on this page as soon as we receive them.


Further changes for England from 2 December 2020:

From midnight on Wednesday 2 December 2020 the current national lockdown in England will end and an updated 3-Tier system will begin. The current national restrictions remain in place until then (see 5 November update below).

A review of which areas are within each Tier will happen every 14 days. We believe the new rules mean the following for Dance:

  • Higher, Further and Vocational dance training can continue across all three tiers
  • Dance activity/provision for under-18’s is allowed across all three tiers
  • In Tier 3 adult dance activity/provision is not allowed and should cease; performing arts venues will close
  • In Tier 2 adult dance activity/provision is allowed within households or support bubbles; venues can open with restrictions
  • In Tier 1 adult dance activity/provision is allowed for groups of up to six people can continue (following the Rule of Six); venues can open with restrictions.

Find out what Tier you are in at:

Full list of Tiers by area is available at:



New national lockdown for England from 5 November 2020

The new rules, which will run until at least 2 Dec, include:

* Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes, and to work from home if they can
* Preventing people from gathering with others outside of their household or bubble, except for specific purposes
* Closure of certain businesses and venues – including leisure facilities and dance studios.

The official guidance can be found here:

What this means for Dance?

The following is an edited version information received from colleagues at One Dance UK on Friday 6 November, to whom we are grateful for helping us all to navigate this changing situation.

Participatory dance work
In England, the guidance states that dance activity with ‘non-professionals’ – we take this to include work led by professional dance artists, practitioners and teaching artists that involves participation by the general public - cannot take place.

Rehearsal and training

Stages 1 & 2 of the ‘Performing Arts Roadmap for England’ remain in place, which means that professional dancers and choreographers can rehearse and train in studios and behind closed doors in other venues for broadcast or recording purposes. This is because it is work that cannot be undertaken at home. Where it is possible for the staff of organisations to work from home they should do so. A COVID-19 Risk Assessment should be undertaken and guidance on social distancing and cleaning followed.

Other than for this, theatres and entertainment venues – in including dance studios – must remain closed to the general public.

In educational setting
Schools have the flexibility to decide how physical education, sport and physical activity will be provided whilst following the measures in their system of controls. This means that dance can be undertaken in school (also music and drama) so long as safety precautions are undertaken. Advice is provided in the full opening guidance for schools. Providing that precautions are undertaken, schools can work with external coaches, freelancers and organisations where they are satisfied it is safe to do so. Full advice is provided in the full opening guidance for schools.

Information on Further Education (FE) settings can be found here.
Information on Higher Education (HE) settings can be found here.

Private dance school classes for children and other out-of-school dance activities
Where provision is taking place outside of school, this provision should only operate where the primary purpose is to provide registered childcare or the provision is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work, or attend education or training, or where it is used for the purposes of respite care, including for vulnerable children.

Out-of-school activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which could include, for example, tuition centres, supplementary schools, or private tutors) may also continue to operate.

All other out-of-school activity, including school-based extra-curricular activity, which is not being primarily used by parents for these purposes, should close for face to face provision but can offer remote education, for the duration of the national restrictions.

Guidance for Northern Ireland is available here:
Guidance for Wales is available here:
Guidance for Scotland is available here:

Government and public health guidance

The UK Government’s five steps for working safely during coronavirus

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  2. Develop and apply cleaning, hygiene and handwashing procedures
  3. Help people to work from home
  4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible
  5. Where people cannot be more than 2m apart, manage transmission risk.

Latest government guidance about COVID-19



Reopening guidance


England - issued before the 5 November and currently over-ridden by the guidance outlined above:

  • In England, the new ‘Tier’ system on Local Covid Alert Levels has bought it with additional questions for our sector on how each local authority will handle dance activity in Tier 3
  • Tier 3 – the Very High level – gives Local Authorities powers to close businesses and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, venues and tourist attractions which may have an impact on some activity in our sector. You should contact your Local Authority for advice
  • The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that dance classes are included under the organised sport exemption from the ‘rule of 6’. You should also see the guidance below about Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities. The "rule of 6" does not apply outside of England
  • DCMS have also confirmed that Stage 4 of the performing arts roadmap still applies across all tiers

Northern Ireland:



  • In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a ‘firebreak’ lockdown between Friday 23 October and Monday 9 November which will see all residents required to stay at home, unless deemed as essential workers. Previously, restrictions on gatherings in Wales were updated on 15 September and can be found here
  • Welsh guidance for the performing arts was published on 15 September
  • Creative industries: guidance for a phased return (Welsh Government).