Outdoor arts performances - including music and theatre - can resume this weekend

The famous Minack Theatre in Porthcurno in Cornwall will be able to put on shows again from this weekend. Credit: PA

The Government has announced that outdoor arts performances - including theatres, opera, dance and music - will be able to resume from Saturday 11 July, although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social distancing rules.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, "We are giving further clarity on restart dates in our roadmap back to performance. From 11 July we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and we are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots."

The Culture Secretary has commissioned a study on the risks posed by playing brass instruments and singing. Credit: PA

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The Culture Secretary has also commissioned a scientific study on the risks produced by singing and brass instruments, which it will use to determine when the arts sector can be fully open indoors too. 

The Minack Theatre in Porthcurno in Cornwall, which was given a namecheck during the Government's announcement, says it is delighted it can 'put the soul' back into the venue again.

With bookings being taken for less than half its normal capacity, audiences at the Minack will have plenty of space. Credit: ITV West Country

However, staff are aware that it will be a very different experience for theatre-goers when they return to the their seats.

Zoe Curnow from the Minack said:

"We've put loads of changes into the way we will operate. We would normally hold 700 - 800 people in this venue, and we're now going to be looking at a capacity of around 300. So a socially distanced audience, which actually will give people a bit more room... having a bit more space could actually be really nice for the audiences!"