Further to our email last week on the impact of CoronaVirus and touring (can be found here) we joined a conference call with the UK Govt Deputy Chief Medical officer who said for mass gatherings in the UK e.g concerts/sports/theatre, current advice is more or less «keep calm and carry on» following the logic that cultural events carry no more increased risk of infection than other situations where people are in close proximity (e.g. public transport/restaurants/pubs).
However if people are already ill or highly vulnerable to illness (due to age or pre-existing conditions) then they should not attend mass gatherings – basically common sense. This advice of course may change at any time dependent on circumstances and the spread of the virus. Current public health messaging is around washing hands to reduce infection.
There are so many unknowns (e.g. as with many other seasonal flu strains, the infection rate may decrease rapidly in warmer weather) and they are still trying to establish the facts on how the virus behaves in practice which could take some time.
In terms of overseas travel the advice is to follow foreign office guidance and not to stop travelling to attend events unless recommended otherwise.
The other situation to watch is SxSW where some (music) companies are suspending staff travel to the showcase. However the current advice is that the festival is going ahead. We will continue to monitor the situation and are in touch with PRSF and UK Music as clearly the impact is serious as insurance companies are not covering cancellations linked to Coronavirus so it may be difficult to recover costs.