Is busking allowed during lockdown?

Is busking allowed during lockdown?

“The law states that: “If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace… You do not need to be classed as a critical worker to go to work if you cannot work from home.”

Our understanding is that, as long as a crowd is not being drawn and social distancing remains possible, busking is allowed under the current guidelines.

We would strongly encourage street performers to maintain social distancing and take measures to ensure their workplace is Covid-safe


Below are some bite sized chunks of law and guidance to help you make things clear to those who challenge your right to work.


Restrictions on movement

6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need

(f)to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;


If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay in your local area – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.

You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.

You do not need to be classed as a critical worker to go to work if you cannot work from home.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you… require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services.


The police have a range of powers they can use to enforce coronavirus restriction regulations. They can only use these powers in response to a public health need.

Differences between Government information and legal restrictions caused confusion about how the lockdown should be enforced… officers have sometimes (wrongly) enforced guidance rather than the law.


You can travel from the other end of the country to Cleethorpes or wherever in our area so long as you have a reasonable excuse. Not being local is not a reason we can give an FPN for. Fact. You don’t need to be local so having to define it is not relevant.

The issue is, do you have a reasonable excuse for being out and that can apply to someone from Hull or Grimsby or Bradford or London.

There is a real difference in what you can and should do but as long as you have a reasonable excuse you are allowed to leave your house.

You can travel to where you want for exercise but whether it is wise… Doing something unwise doesn’t make it illegal.

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10 Comments on "Is busking allowed during lockdown?"

  • Antoine Fleuriot says

    I would be interested in where that come from. As on Saturday I ended up arrested and taken down the police station for busking and shown the article musicians union put up about busking not allowed under government rules.

    • Chester says

      You can click on the links that take you to the original documents. These are all quotes from the law itself and actual government guidance. That is what police should be enforcing- not some ‘advice’ from a third party website. If they want to use third party websites show them this one. At least it refers them directly to the relevant legislation rather than some ‘advice’ from the MU which frankly has as many holes in it as Swiss cheese.

    • Alex says

      It states that the Author is Chester Bingley, who as far as I’m aware is the administrator of this group, it’s a very useful article, but I would like to see if there is one which is as crystal clear produced by a representative of government, before you’ll see me back out busking.

      • Chester Bingley says

        I’m only the ‘author’ insofar that I’ve collated the information. This IS the law and government guidance as it is written. There is absolutely no editing, opinion or interpretation involved.

  • John Lee says

    MU are lobbying on this, but as it stands, busking is not allowed until the hospitality sector re-opens on May 17th.

    • Chester Bingley says

      That is not the case. Busking for work purposes has never been unlawful provided current social distancing rules are adhered to. Busking is an incidental activity- not a ‘performance’. Outdoor hospitality opened on April 12th by the way.

  • Anna Baria says

    But lots of businesses have had to close , hairdressers, gyms etc, they are classing buskers with that lot, we have to stop, thats why I’ve been told and we have been given strict instructions not to busk because it causes crowds to gather

    • Chester Bingley says

      Busking is not classed with those business premises that had to close. It is an incidental activity.Who gave you strict instructions not to busk? Those ‘instructions’ were not lawful.

  • Roland Humphrey says

    I was moved on today 12th april in Sutton Greater London by a bloke who claimed to be from Police Licensing department,although a licence is not needed in Sutton.He told me it was not allowed before may 17th and assured my i could find this information on line.Have searched the web and found nothing.Roland

    • Chester Bingley says

      ‘Police licensing department’? Busking is not a licensed activity and so this person has no authority.

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