Covid-19: Can my group get back to in-person activities?

Official Covid guidance is changing in all four nations of the UK as covid restrictions are being removed. 

Whether you're a choir, band, orchestra or other kind of music group the tool below will help understand what’s changing and what you need to do to keep making and presenting music safely.

The situation might still change over time, so please always check the latest official guidance before making and implementing any plans.

First published 13 July 2020

Latest update:

  • England: rehearsals 12 May 2022, performances 12 May 2022 
  • Northern Ireland: rehearsals 12 May 2022, and performances 12 May 2022  
  • Scotland: rehearsals 3 May 2022, and performances 3 May 2022
  • Wales: rehearsals 12 May 2022, and performances 12 May 2022

What country is your group based in?

Do you want:  

As of 1 April all legal restrictions have been removed. The government have published a 'Living with COVID’ document to go alongside these changes.

This means:

  • Individuals do not have to self-isolate after a positive test
  • No free lateral flow test for the general public (except some vulnerable groups)
  • Face coverings are not required in public places (excepts some health and care settings)
  • Organisations do not have to do Covid specific risk assessment. But are expected to consider Covid risk as part of a wider risk assessment.

Covid risks do of course still remain and the Living with COVID framework is likely to mean reducing or refining measures, as opposed to stopping them completely. Whilst legal requirements have been removed groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

The previous ‘Events and Attractions’ guidance has been replaced by the more general Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. We have written some detailed Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate within the new strategic framework and operate safely as restrictions are removed.

As of 1 April all legal restrictions have been removed. The government have published a 'Living with COVID’ document to go alongside these changes.

This means:

  • Individuals do not have to self-isolate after a positive test
  • No free lateral flow test for the general public (except some vulnerable groups)
  • Face coverings are not required in public places (excepts some health and care settings)
  • Organisations do not have to do Covid specific risk assessment. But are expected to consider Covid risk as part of a wider risk assessment.
  • The NHS Covid pass is no longer recognised as a covid passport

Covid risks do of course still remain and the Living with COVID framework is likely to mean reducing or refining measures, as opposed to stopping them completely. Whilst the legal requirements have been removed, groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

The previous ‘Events and Attractions’ guidance has been replaced by the more general Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace. We have written some detailed Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate within the new strategic framework and operate safely as restrictions are removed.

On 18th April, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in many indoor settings in Scotland ended. This was the last legal requirement in the Coronavirus regulations to be removed and as of this date, there are no remaining restrictions.

As there is still significant community transmission, Scottish Government encourage all organisations to continue with the protective measures they have identified by risk assessment, make adaptations and maintain a vigilant approach to managing COVID-19. They continue to provide guidance on managing the risk of transmission.

We have written some detailed Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate within the new strategic framework


Test and Protect

Advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and self-isolation changed on 1 May 2022. The general public is no longer advised to seek a test if they experience Coronavirus symptoms. Free LFD testing kits are no longer available for the general population and PCR testing sites have closed.

The guidance is that if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you feel better. You should tell people you have recently been in contact with that you're feeling unwell so they can be aware of signs or symptoms, but Test and Protect contact tracing has ended. Close contacts are guided to reduce the risk to others and stay at home if they develop symptoms

Refer to the NHS guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for symptoms, what to do if you have symptoms, guidance for close contacts and remaining testing arrangements. Coronavirus (COVID-19) | NHS inform.

Managing the risk of transmission

General guidance for workplaces (organisations) is here: Scottish Government General Guidance for Safer Workplaces and includes

  • Encouraging people to wear face coverings in enclosed, busy areas, pinch-points or places which are less well ventilated. 
  • Maximising ventilation and the use of outside space
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures such as providing hand sanitiser
  • Minimising congested areas such as narrow corridors, staircases, doorways and storage areas and reviewing use of shared areas such as changing rooms
  • Considering using barriers (screens and partitions) and allowing more space between people
  • Ensuring robust outbreak management plans
  • Supporting the Distance aware scheme
  • Encouraging people to travel safely – e.g. do not car share if you have symptoms, wear face coverings if sharing a vehicle and ensure vehicles are well ventilated.

You should

  • Regularly communicate your protocol with everyone attending activities and events.
  • Ensure that there are no unintended impacts on people with disabilities or caring responsibilities.
  • Apply multiple measures - the more measures you take to reduce transmission, the safer your environment will be.

Scottish Government states that: “Appropriate adaptations are crucial to minimising the spread of the virus, improving employee and consumer confidence and reducing the likelihood of further disruption in future. We recognise that there is no one size fits all model….Businesses and organisations are encouraged to consider which potential adaptations can be implemented in their own context which takes account of their own risk assessments.”

Please note: the Scottish Government archived the Cultural Performances and Events guidance, the Events Sector Checklist and Covid-19 certification guidance on 18 April.

Schools

For groups working in a school environment, there is new guidance on reducing the risks in schools to apply from the end of the Easter break. In this guidance there are no restrictions on indoor and outdoor music activity. There are also no restrictions on professionals or visitors in general entering schools.  All visitors will, however, be expected to comply with the school’s measures for managing risk.

Scottish Government Guidance on reducing the risks in schools

Please note: the Scottish Government archived the Cultural Performances and Events guidance, the Events Sector Checklist and Covid-19 certification guidance on 18 April.

On 18th April, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in many indoor settings in Scotland ended. This was the last legal requirement in the Coronavirus regulations to be removed and as of this date, there are no remaining restrictions.

As there is still significant community transmission, Scottish Government encourage all organisations to continue with the protective measures they have identified by risk assessment, make adaptations and maintain a vigilant approach to managing COVID-19. They continue to provide guidance on managing the risk of transmission.

We have written some detailed Living with Covid - performances guidance to help groups operate within the new strategic framework


Test and Protect

Advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and self-isolation changed on 1 May 2022. The general public is no longer advised to seek a test if they experience Coronavirus symptoms. Free LFD testing kits are no longer available for the general population and PCR testing sites have closed.

The guidance is that if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you feel better. You should tell people you have recently been in contact with that you're feeling unwell so they can be aware of signs or symptoms, but Test and Protect contact tracing has ended. Close contacts are guided to reduce the risk to others and stay at home if they develop symptoms

Refer to the NHS guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for symptoms, what to do if you have symptoms, guidance for close contacts and remaining testing arrangements. Coronavirus (COVID-19) | NHS inform.

Managing the risk of transmission

General guidance for workplaces (organisations) is here: Scottish Government General Guidance for Safer Workplaces and includes

  • Encouraging people to wear face coverings in enclosed, busy areas, pinch-points or places which are less well ventilated.
  • Maximising ventilation and the use of outside space
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures such as providing hand sanitiser
  • Minimising congested areas such as narrow corridors, staircases, doorways and storage areas and reviewing use of shared areas such as changing rooms
  • Considering using barriers (screens and partitions) and allowing more space between people
  • Ensuring robust outbreak management plans
  • Supporting the Distance aware scheme
  • Encouraging people to travel safely – e.g. do not car share if you have symptoms, wear face coverings if sharing a vehicle and ensure vehicles are well ventilated.

You should

  • Regularly communicate your protocol with everyone attending activities and events.
  • Ensure that there are no unintended impacts on people with disabilities or caring responsibilities.
  • Apply multiple measures - the more measures you take to reduce transmission, the safer your environment will be.

Scottish Government states that: “Appropriate adaptations are crucial to minimising the spread of the virus, improving employee and consumer confidence and reducing the likelihood of further disruption in future. We recognise that there is no one size fits all model….Businesses and organisations are encouraged to consider which potential adaptations can be implemented in their own context which takes account of their own risk assessments.”

Please note: the Scottish Government archived the Cultural Performances and Events guidance, the Events Sector Checklist and Covid-19 certification guidance on 18 April.

Schools

For groups working in a school environment, there is new guidance on reducing the risks in schools to apply from the end of the Easter break. In this guidance there are no restrictions on indoor and outdoor music activity. There are also no restrictions on professionals or visitors in general entering schools.  All visitors will, however, be expected to comply with the school’s measures for managing risk.

Scottish Government Guidance on reducing the risks in schools

Wales is at Alert level 0 and almost all restrictions have been removed. 

  • Face coverings are not required in public places (except in health and care settings)
  • Organisations do not have to do Covid specific risk assessment. But are expected to consider Covid risk as part of a wider risk assessment.
  • Individuals do not have to self-isolate after a positive test
  • Free lateral flow tests are available if you have symptoms and under some other conditions

Covid risks do of course still remain and even when restrictions are removed groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

Covid risks do of course still remain and the removal or restrictions is likely to mean reducing or refining measures, as opposed to stopping them completely. Whilst legal requirements have been removed groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

The previous Alert level 0: guidance for employers, businesses and organisations has been replaced by Public health advice for employers, businesses and organisations: coronavirus. We have written some Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate safely as restrictions are removed. 

Wales is at Alert level 0 and almost all restrictions have been removed. 

  • Face coverings are not required in public places (except in health and care settings)
  • Organisations do not have to do Covid specific risk assessment. But are expected to consider Covid risk as part of a wider risk assessment.
  • Individuals do not have to self-isolate after a positive test
  • Free lateral flow tests are available if you have symptoms and under some other conditions.
  • The NHS Covid pass is no longer recognised as a covid passport

Covid risks do of course still remain and even when restrictions are removed groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

Covid risks do of course still remain and the removal or restrictions is likely to mean reducing or refining measures, as opposed to stopping them completely. Whilst legal requirements have been removed groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider how to reduce the spread of the virus.

The previous Alert level 0: guidance for employers, businesses and organisations has been replaced by Public health advice for employers, businesses and organisations: coronavirus. We have written some Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate safely as restrictions are removed.   

As of 15 February all legal requirements and regulations were replaced by guidance

The previous 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and guidance: what they mean for you' outlining the regulations and restrictions has been replaced with COVID: How to stay safe and prevent the spread.

There is no longer a legal requirement for:

  • Social distancing
  • Face coverings
  • Covid Certificates
  • Covid specific risk assessments

Testing: 

  • Free Lateral flow tests are not available as standard and you can only get one if you symptoms and under some other circumstances.
  • PCR sites have been closed and PCR testing is only available if you are advised by a healthcare professional to take one.

Whilst the legal restrictions have been removed the guidance makes clear that Covid risks remain and makes recommendations for actions to take. The focus is on encouraging safer choices to protect each other and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Whilst covid specific risk assessments are no longer required, groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider safer choices and how they can reduce the spread of the virus.

Key recommendations in the guidance are: 

  • Get vaccinated
  • Meet outdoors or keep indoor spaces well ventilated
  • Wear a face covering
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required
  • Take tests even if you don’t have symptoms
  • Keep your distance
  • Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes

We have written some Living with Covid - performances guidance to help groups operate within the framework. 

 

As of 15 February all legal requirements and regulations were replaced by guidance. 

The previous 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and guidance: what they mean for you' outlining the regulations and restrictions has been replaced with COVID: How to stay safe and prevent the spread.

There is no longer a legal requirement for:

  • Social distancing
  • Face coverings
  • Covid Certificates
  • Covid specific risk assessments

Testing: 

  • Free Lateral flow tests are not available as standard and you can only get one if you symptoms and under some other circumstances.
  • PCR sites have been closed and PCR testing is only available if you are advised by a healthcare professional to take one.

Whilst the legal restrictions have been removed the guidance makes clear that Covid risks remain and makes recommendations for actions to take. The focus is on encouraging safer choices to protect each other and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Whilst covid specific risk assessments are no longer required, groups will still need to provide a safe environment and consider safer choices and how they can reduce the spread of the virus.

Key recommendations in the guidance are: 

  • Get vaccinated
  • Meet outdoors or keep indoor spaces well ventilated
  • Wear a face covering
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required
  • Take tests even if you don’t have symptoms
  • Keep your distance
  • Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes

We have written some Living with Covid - rehearsals guidance to help groups operate within the framework.