COVID-19 Guidance

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary measures to support people and businesses through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Arts Council England and Creative Scotland have provided support packages and changes to funding for individuals and organisations to provide relief.

As the One Dance UK team, we are here to ensure the dance sector thrives through these challenging times. We continue to strongly advocate for dance and will share news, updates, resources and online events to the sector and from our members on our wide-reaching platforms.

We kindly ask that you first contact us by email and please feel free to call us on these numbers.

As the world begins to reopen, please visit our Return To Dance page for information on safely reopening studios as well as the return to education and performances.


What does this mean for professional dancers and choreographers? 

Stages 1 and 2 of the Performing Arts Roadmap for England can continue. This means that:

  • professional dancers and choreographers can continue to rehearse and train in dance studios
  • performers are also permitted to use theatres, concert halls and entertainment and rehearsal venues to train and perform behind closed doors for broadcast or recording purposes. Other than for this, theatres, concert halls and entertainment venues, along with dance studios, must remain closed to the public

What does this mean for dance organisations?

  • professional activity can continue in a Covid-secure venue following the guidance as this is work that cannot take place at home
  • non-professional activity cannot take place
  • Where staff can work from home, they must do so. Staff working in offices or rehearsal studios are subject to a COVID-19 risk assessment and following guidance on cleaning and social distancing


Don’t forget, if you are returning to dance, increasing, decreasing, or changing your dance activities at this time it is important to ensure you consider your health and wellbeing. Support and advice about mental healthmanaging physical injuriesfitness, rest, and safe practices can all be found through our Healthier Dancer Programme.

You can also catch up on all of our return to dance webinars for tips, here.

What does this mean for furloughed staff? 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or “furlough” scheme will now run until the end of March for all parts of the UK with employees receiving 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month). The Job Retention Bonus announced previously will now not be paid in February. A retention incentive will be announced in the future.

Early guidance on the new CJRS and other financial support for organisations and individuals can be found here. Full details will be published on 10 November and we will update you as soon as we have more information on what this means for dance organisations.
What about the self-employed and freelancers?

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has also been expanded to cover 80% of average trading profits (up to a maximum of £7,500) with a third grant covering November to January.

We are still talking to DCMS and others about further support for those who have not qualified for this so far, and are working with our friends at WhatNext? and the Freelance Taskforce to convene a roundtable with DCMS on this.

Can dance continue within School/College/University settings?

Schools have the flexibility to decide how physical education, sport and physical activity will be provided whilst following the measures in their system of controls. This means that dance can be undertaken in school (also music and drama) so long as safety precautions are undertaken. Advice is provided in the full opening guidance for schools.

Information on Further Education (FE) settings can be found here.

Information on Higher Education (HE) settings can be found here.

Can planned in-school arts activities happen where an external freelance artist or teacher goes into the school to lead the class/activity?

Providing that precautions are undertaken, yes. Schools can work with external coaches and organisations where they are satisfied it is safe to do so. Full advice is provided in the full opening guidance for schools.

Are children’s private dance school classes and other out-of-school dance activities permitted to take place?

As outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on new national restrictions from 5 November, where provision is taking place outside of school, this provision should only operate where the primary purpose is to provide registered childcare or the provision is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work, or attend education or training, or where it is used for the purposes of respite care, including for vulnerable children. Out-of-school activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which could include, for example, tuition centres, supplementary schools, or private tutors) may also continue to operate.

All other out-of-school activity, including school-based extra-curricular activity, which is not being primarily used by parents for these purposes, should close for face to face provision but can offer remote education, for the duration of the national restrictions.

Will graded examinations in dance be able to take place?

Following discussions with DfE, CDMT and the awarding bodies we can confirm that graded examinations can continue to take place in line with the autumn examinations guidance. We hope that this guidance will be updated to provide further clarity on this, but in the meantime you are advised to seek the guidance of the relevant awarding body.

What does this mean for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? 


NEWS: Scotland will enter Tier 4 restrictions from 20 November at 6pm.  More as we have it.

NEWS: Further restrictions announced for Northern Ireland  from 27 November. More as we have it.

NEWS: Wales two week firebreak is now over. Find out what this means for you here.


Update 24 September 2020

The Chancellor has announced further financial support for jobs, and for the self-employed

Previous Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Help for freelancers and self-employed: how to claim a grant

COVID-19 Universal Credit

How to claim Universal Credit

COVID-19 Support for businesses

VAT and Income tax deferrals, grants, SSP, business rates relief etc,

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme for Employers and Agencies

How and when to claim for wages costs including Zero-Hour contracts employees and agency staff

Check if you’re eligible for your employer to put you on temporary leave (furlough) and your other rights in this time

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak on economic support for the charity sector

The Chancellor announces £1.57billion support for arts sector

The Scottish Government has announced a new £15 million Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

Scottish Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

In July 2020, the Welsh Government announced a Cultural Recovery Fund of £53 million.


Please note: each application route has different timelines. Please check to ensure you are completing applications in good time.

Arts Council England has re-opened National Lottery Project Grants, increasing the budget by £18 million to make £75 million available to individuals, community and cultural organisations.

To help creatives step up their work in new ways, they’re re-opening Developing Your Creative Practice this autumn, and increasing the budget from £3.6 million to £18 million.

Acknowledging freelance workers in the sector, from technicians to producers, are also suffering, ACE are investing an extra £2 million in funds that support these workers.

View all the open funds HERE


Creative Scotland has announced £11m of emergency funding (30 March).

Read more about changes to their funding routes HERE


Arts Council of Wales has announced details of its own £7m resilience fund


We have launched a Dance Sector Impact Survey to gather evidence from across dance organisations and individuals. We strongly encourage all dance organisations and individuals to take part and will be sharing results and recommendations. Your input to this survey is critical in helping us to articulate what support the dance sector needs. Thank you!

Companies in Distress:

The Government are looking to gain greater understanding of which organisations are facing closure as a result of Covid-19 related cash flow problems. These ‘companies in distress’ (CiD) are defined as:

    • Organisations with negative projected net monthly cash flow (once loans, grants, and other economic support, i.e. JRS are factored in) that is more than their available reserves. So reserves are depleted in less than a month.
    • Organisations with negative net projected monthly cash flow (once loans, grants, and other economic support, i.e. JRS are factored in) that is more than 50% of their available reserves, and therefore run out of reserves in the next 2 months.

There is no assurance of government support for these companies in distress, but it is vital that Government understands where the issues are.

Please get in touch with us if you feel this is relevant to you.

Culture Counts, of which One Dance UK is a member, website tracking the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on Scotland’s cultural sector.

ACAS (the Advisory and Conciliation Service) has COVID-19 workplace guidance for employers and employees.

Equity has advice to members.

Please follow local Government guidance to you, to help stop the spread of coronavirus and follow the rules of regularly washing hands, wearing a mask, and keeping your distance from others where possible.

Find the latest and full round of NHS advice here.

For international travel and touring please stay up to date with latest FCO travel-advice.

We join with you in pushing dance and the arts as a beacon of hope and will share new, safe and inventive ways to reach people of all ages. We are following the situation closely as it develops and are talking to DCMS regularly to not only keep track of the government’s response but also to feedback the concerns of, and impact on, the dance sector and our members.


Space for Learning COVID-19 Guidance workshops

The Clore Duffield Foundation is running monthly online workshops in partnership with Engage, GEM and the Theatre Education Forum.

These workshops will help support the development of COVID secure practice for arts, museum and heritage learning professionals, with speakers drawn from the Space for Learning task and finish groups who are delivering COVID secure services on the ground, and time to talk through the guidance with colleagues.

1 October, 5 November and 3 December 16.00-17.30 via Zoom

Book free tickets via Eventbrite

1 October        Introduction to the Space for Learning Covid Guidance. Talks unpacking each of the sections in the guidance by colleagues involved in the project working in museum and arts venues, followed by breakouts for discussion about the guidance and what further help and support you need.

5 November    Space for Learning: Blended Learning – summary of the existing evidence on how best to deliver blended learning; case studies from UK museums and arts organisations that are delivering blended learning; and breakouts for further discussion.

3 December    Topic to be decided in the first workshop based on participants needs.