Theatregoers allowed to ditch their face mask… if they're singing

Mamma Mia! Theatregoers ARE allowed to ditch their face mask… if they’re singing, new Covid rules say

  • People can take off face masks in theatres if they are singing, Covid rules state
  • Downing Street even said shoppers can remove masks in supermarkets if singing
  • Under Plan B, coverings have become compulsory in most public indoor venues
  • It comes as people told to work from home, but Christmas parties to go ahead

You can take off your mask in the theatre or in church – as long as you are singing, the Covid rules state.

Downing Street even said shoppers would be allowed to remove their face coverings in supermarkets if they walked around the store singing.

But later in the day a spokesman clarified this, saying this would be ‘hard to justify’.

The exemption comes even though, under previous restrictions, singing was banned because it increases the risk of transmitting the virus.

Last night the regulations were published. They state that someone may remove a face covering if it is ‘reasonably necessary’ to sing, adding that ‘the occasions when it is reasonably necessary for P [a person] to sing include singing as part of a choir, or during a service or rehearsal, or for performance’.

It appears to be another example of how the new measures appear to have some idiosyncrasies. 

For example, people are being told to work from home if they can from next week, but Boris Johnson said it was still possible for Christmas parties to go ahead.

And the guidance will not stop colleagues gathering at a pub to do their jobs.

Taking off a mask to sing along to Mamma Mia! in a theatre will not be in breach of the rules, new Covid guidelines have stated

Under Plan B, which was enacted by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues from today.

They will be needed in cinemas, theatres and places of worship, although they will not be needed in gyms, bars or restaurants. Masks are already required on public transport and in shops.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson said there was an exemption for singing. 

This was mainly seen as being applicable to places of worship, where a mask should be worn during the service but could be removed for carols and hymns. 

But officials confirmed this would also be applicable to other indoor settings, such as a West End musical.

Asked whether a shopper could remove their mask in Tesco if they were singing, it was confirmed that would be within the rules as would removing the mask to sing in a theatre.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson rolled out Plan B Covid restrictions during a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday

Later, however, Downing Street clarified the remarks. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We were absolutely clear there is a reasonable excuse required for someone who is seeking to do that. 

‘I think it would be hard to justify.

‘It might be for the police to decide what is appropriate, as has been the case throughout the pandemic.’

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