A number of famous figures from the UK’s culture world have supported measures to get creative sectors to quickly open again following the pandemic.
High-profile stars including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ralph Fiennes and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli have signed an open letter to prime minister Boris Johnson in support of Covid-19 status certification measures.
These measures would reduce social distancing and see a return to full capacity audiences in theatres and at music festivals without any restrictions as soon as possible.
Other stars to sign the letter, which is also addressed to the leader of the opposition, are Simon Russell Beale, festival organiser Melvin Benn (organiser of Latitude, Leeds and Reading festivals), UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, conductor Simon Rattle, theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner, and the playwright Tom Stoppard.
The signatories understand that Covid-19 status certification would involve either proof of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or an antibody test to allow access to a venue.
They are clear that this approach must not rely only on proof of vaccination, must not be discriminatory, and also that it must only be a temporary measure, only used for as long as necessary and with clear exit criteria.
The letter to Johnson comes after another, signed by 156 musicians, called on the government to take action over streaming rights.
Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith, Chris Martin, Gary Barlow, Paul McCartney, Rebecca Ferguson, Bob Geldof, Boy George, Noel Gallagher and Kate Bush are among the musicians to sign the document, written “on behalf of today’s generation of artists, musicians and songwriters here in the UK”.
The letter asks for changes in legislation to “put the value of music back where it belongs – in the hands of music makers”.
Additional reporting by Agencies