Just recently, a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appeared to have successfully triggered an immune response against the coronavirus. The trials, which involved over 1,000 people, showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can safely fight the COVID19 virus.
Now although this is undeniably good news, it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer complete protection, and therefore more extensive trials are needed and underway. Having said that, the UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine so they can be ready to roll them out immediately if everything comes back good.
Interestingly, in an exclusive interview with Sky News, Professor Robin Shattock, who is involved with the trails, stated that the government requested for them to make the vaccine in the UK. As for why, given the far worse situation America find themselves in regarding the virus, there were concerns that the Trump administration could have insisted it to be used to protect Americans first.
With this growth of confidence comes further good news, indoor concerts will be allowed to take place in England beginning August 2020 — the first time since COVID-19 hit — as the country enters Phase 4 of its five-stage reopening plan for live events.
The news was announced by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will first hold test runs with socially-distanced audiences to create the final and formal guidelines for August 2020.
As you can imagine, it’s not going to be how it was before straight out the gate, instead, venues will not be allowed to open at full capacity and tickets will be sold online in order to reduce person-to-person contact. Additionally, social distancing markers will be placed for the audience, while venues will have to undergo deep cleaning measures and operate with staggered performance schedules. “Audiences, performers and venues will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times,” the notice said.
“The UK’s performing arts sector is renowned across the world and I am pleased that we are making real progress in getting its doors reopened to the public with social distancing,” U.K. culture secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement. “From August indoor theatres, music venues and performance spaces will safely welcome audiences back across the country.”
UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl added, “It’s an important step to now have a date for reopening live performances with social distancing in indoor venues, but there is still a long road ahead for musicians, performers and the sector as a whole. The Government needs to continue to working with the industry as a whole so we can get back to live events and let the music play.”