Good news ahead of the festive season for leisure-time music groups in England this week: rehearsals and performances are allowed in each of the three tiers, provided groups risk assess and meet in a Covid-secure way
Rehearsing and performing allowed for music groups
Three sets of guidance are now relevant to groups:
- The guidance for the Christmas period which talks specifically about carol singing
- The new suggested principles of safer singing
- The main guidance which covers leisure-time music group activity: the DCMS Performing Arts Guidance, updated on 1 December
The guidance makes it clear that there is no restriction on numbers rehearsing or performing indoors or outdoors in all three tiers (no performing to an in-person audience indoors in tier 3).
But there is a shift in emphasis towards encouraging groups to think sensibly about what activity they should undertake:
“Where not for work purposes, you should consider the case for proceeding (or not) with the activity given the wider health context in your area and the context of your participants, particularly if vulnerable individuals are involved.”
Making Music welcome this shift, as we have been saying throughout that each group’s situation is different and requires risk assessing. It is our experience that groups tend to be cautious, taking their responsibilities to participants and audiences seriously, and are therefore bound to handle risk assessments carefully.
The shift places decisions on whether to meet and perform in groups’ hands and that may concern some – but help is at hand for Making Music members with Making Music’s range of resources, including guidance, templates, posters and sample group risk assessments.
In terms of mitigations, uncompromised social distancing at 2m throughout an activity, excellent ventilation (or outdoor activity) and face coverings are highlighted alongside the familiar hygiene measures and keeping Covid-symptomatic individuals away. There is also a stronger emphasis than before on reducing numbers of participants and length of activity or performance.
For more details on what you can or can’t do, check our free guidance tool first which covers all of the UK nations and is continually updated as new guidance is issued by governments.