UK music awards to have live audience, no masks

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LONDON — Organizers say 4,000 people will be able to attend the ceremony for Britain’s leading music prize night next month as part of the government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions.

In a statement Thursday, the Brit Awards said audience members attending the indoor ceremony at London’s O2 Arena on May 11 will not have to socially distance or even wear face coverings once seated. It said the ceremony will be the first major indoor music event in the country to welcome back a live audience since the coronavirus pandemic erupted more than a year ago.

Instead, as part of the government’s pilot program for resuming live events, attendees will need to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test to enter the venue and will be required to provide details to test and trace authorities and follow travel guidance for getting to and from the venue.

Organizers said they are gifting 2,500 tickets to essential workers from the greater London area to honor their work through “the difficult times” of the pandemic.

The UK is slowly easing restrictions following a sharp fall in new coronavirus cases in the wake of a stringent lockdown and the rapid rollout of vaccines.

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