Taskforce to support reopening of cultural sector in England

The group will oversee the potential opening of museums and galleries in stage three of the UK government’s coronavirus recovery plan
Covid-19 Dcms Reopening
Jonathan Knott
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A UK government taskforce is being set up to help reopen the cultural sector in England alongside other recreation and leisure businesses.

The recreation and leisure taskforce will be overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Chaired by a DCMS minister, its responsibilities will include tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport.

It will work with the museum sector on the possible reopening of institutions in England in stage three of the UK government’s plan for lifting lockdown restrictions. The earliest this could take place is 4 July.

The group will be one of five official taskforces helping develop new “Covid-19 secure” guidelines specific to different parts of the economy. The other taskforces will oversee pubs and restaurants, non-essential retail, places of worship and international aviation.

Each taskforce will be chaired by a minister from the relevant government department. The groups may include a secretary of state, other departmental ministers, government officials, a chief scientific adviser, and representatives of Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Representatives of specific sectors, devolved administrations and other experts will also be invited when required.

The taskforces will ensure official guidelines are developed in line with the government's coronavirus recovery plan and public health measures. They will provide key stakeholders with direct access to ministers and confirm the "alignment of all relevant sectoral guidance”.

Separate sectoral sub-groups will be set up under each taskforce to examine issues specific to that sector. A museums and galleries working group is being set up by the recreation and leisure taskforce.
The Welsh and Northern Irish governments have published recovery plans where open-air museums will open before other institutions.
Museums Galleries Scotland is working with the Scottish government on plans to reopen the museum sector.


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