23 November 2020
The past few months have been a confusing mess for Equity members across the UK.
Children's entertainers and variety artists have been struggling under successive barriers, from national and local lockdowns to the Rule of Six. Equally, creatives working in education, care homes and in pubs and clubs have had little guidance or reassurance about their position.
It is vital that as the COVID-19 Winter Plan is implemented, clear guidance is rapidly made available to provide reassurance for those hoping to return to work in areas under Tier 1 and Tier 2.
The news that live entertainment venues will be shut in Tier 3 areas will be a source of huge anxiety for Equity's dancers, singers, actors, stage management, directors, designers and the many other creatives who have been rehearsing and preparing for a return to work during November.
The Winter Plan says itself that the economic impact of the pandemic "will have been felt hardest by those who work in the hospitality, entertainment, retail sectors, and related industries". Yet the Government refuses to recognise the 40% of Equity members left behind by their financial support packages or act to address the massive gaps in their schemes.
Paul W Fleming, Equity General Secretary, said: “This decision isn’t just about the next six months or just our industries. It’s about the fate of our whole UK economy for potentially the decade to come. The approach to date has put access to art and entertainment across the UK in peril, a sector specific approach and proper support for the self employed can pull us back from the brink.“