An ongoing need for Social Distancing

The return to normal for Band Practices and Performances remains tightly linked to the United Kingdom route maps and the relevant advice and guidance on social distancing for those in non-professional performing arts.

The information across Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland follows a similar pattern, each specifying advice on the social distancing requirements that need to be followed. There is a considerable amount of information available, spread across a large number of pages, starting with Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support.

The latest information on the Performing Arts provided by the Scottish Government was updated on the 20th May 2021 and can be accessed using the link Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the performing arts and venues sector.

Non-professionals are defined as those participating in the performing arts other than for work purposes, such as in an amateur choir, orchestra, theatre or music group. Activities may include training, rehearsals, practice and performance.

Levels 0 – 1 Organised non-professional performing arts activity for adults is permitted outdoors and indoors.

Level 2 Organised non-professional performing arts activity for adults permitted outdoors only.

Capacity should be calculated based on ensuring 2 metre physical distancing between those taking part.

There is a section covering the management of performers or participants and their activities, which contains some guidance for those involved in Playing Music on how to adapt activities to reduce transmission and maintain physical distancing.

The guidance has been provided to help minimise the overall risk of transmission when playing or singing in music groups.

Scientific studies indicate that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create risk. The mitigations detailed in the guidance should be implemented, particularly as regards physical distancing and ventilation.

At all times we need to be managing numbers safely within social contact limits: “those attending must not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits“.

Those organising outdoor practices should think carefully about what to do if people stop and gather to watch – as this would turn the practice into a performance, which would be subject to further restrictions.

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