PM's coronavirus social distancing recommendations "a crippling blow to the creative industry"

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by Charlie Spargo

Yesterday's briefing by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that made recommendations for people to avoid "non-essential contact" due to the coronavirus - without any formal bans - has been criticised by the CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England.

COVID-19 is having an impact across sectors, forcing closures and cancellations across the UK. Without officially closing places like pubs and restaurants, as well as venues and companies, there will be no opportunity to claim insurance, which might threaten many organisations with bankruptcy.

Caroline Norbury, the Creative England CEO, stated "the advice issued by the government today is a crippling blow to the UK’s creative industries.

"As the social distancing measures announced this afternoon are only advisory, rather than an outright ban, we are deeply concerned that creative organisations and cultural spaces will find they are unable to claim compensation for the huge losses they will experience as a result of COVID-19.

"Public safety remains the top priority for everyone in the creative sector. However, these measures have the potential to devastate the UK’s theatres, museums, cinemas, venues and other cultural spaces reliant on audiences, visitors and participation, as well as the huge array of creators and freelancers who work within these industries.

"For the sake of our £111.7 billion creative industries, it is vital that government puts in place support to ensure that our world-leading creative sector is able to survive COVID-19."

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