news category All News, Covid created 4 January 2021
This evening the Prime Minister announced a National Lockdown for England to come into force from 12pm on Tuesday 5th January – rules for England are available here .
In Scotland, the first minister announced a similar lockdown, with rules available here.
Wales continues to be in Level 4 rules here.
Northern Ireland looks likely to increase restrictions – current rules are available here.
The overall message for England was ‘Stay At Home’ with a few significant exemptions, including to go to work “where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home”. This includes operational work in covid-secure recording, mixing and mastering studios which cannot be reasonably done from home. This wording is stronger than in previous tier restrictions, so clients who are not absolutely essential to the session should use remote monitoring rather than attending sessions wherever possible.
See Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweet here
The new Scottish regulations also allow for people to leave their homes for work purposes.
To ensure your studio or facility is covid-secure please check you are following the guidance developed by the MPG in collaboration with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. We expect there to be some updates to this in the coming days, mainly in reference to the new lockdown rules, but we do not expect major operational changes. As in Tier 4, accommodation may continue to be provided for work purposes, so residential studios may continue to operate and provide accommodation for those working there.
Given the new, more transmissible strain of Covid, and a very significant increase in cases and hospitalisations across the country, we urge members to revisit their risk assessments, bearing in mind this increased risk.
Shielding guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people is now applicable across all of England.
We would also like to remind members that the CJRS (furlough) scheme may be used for employees who have caring responsibilities due to the closures of schools to most pupils and that applications for the third instalment of SEISS must be made by January 29th. Unfortunately, there has been no change to the eligibility criteria, so those who were not eligible the first time around will not be eligible this time either. The MPG continues to call for more support for those who missed out on both schemes, which includes around one-third of our members.
Please let us know any questions, and also how the news of the lockdown is affecting your clients and your ability to operate.
We will be sending further updates as we get them, including on Brexit, but we thought it important to get this letter out to you asap.
The MPG Board