I'm afraid I wont yet be travelling to join you.
I have had various orchestra rehearsals during "Lockdown-eased" times
And some out door rehearsal of smaller groups, including a sax quartet rehearsal stopped by snow after about 90 minutes.
5 different groups that I play in have indoor rehearsals planned for this week.
Both the Musician's Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians have said they are happy for Covid-secure rehearsals to go ahead. so we are!Our big band has been expecting to restart rehearsing this week, subject to an updated Risk Assessment and in the same Covid-secure venue we used last autumn.
However, we are finding it immensely frustrating that the Department for Culture Media and Sport has still not issued definitive information for Step 3 (today, 17th May). Our band is a member of the charity Making Music UK and their Covid guidance covers all four nations of the UK and is updated swiftly when new information comes out of the government. Here is what Making Music are saying today:
So, as I understand it our band cannot rehearse together with absolute confidence that this is allowed and we are taking all necessary precautions. Maybe some forum members have other information - that would be very interesting to hear.
- The Government announced (10 May) that step three of the roadmap will go ahead as planned on 17 May.
DCMS have said step three is the point at which in person non-professional activity can return. We assume this will be in line with reopening business guidance. This would mean indoor and outdoor activity can take place from 17 May - with no formal limit on numbers and the max. number of participants being dictated by safety. We also expect that social distancing measures will still need to be in place (see provisional road map below for more details).
However, we are awaiting DCMS to update the Performing Arts guidance to cover step three for final confirmation of this. We will update this page once we know more.
My orchestra is meeting this week.So, as I understand it our band cannot rehearse together with absolute confidence that this is allowed and we are taking all necessary precautions. Maybe some forum members have other information - that would be very interesting to hear.
Both the Musician's Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians have said they are happy for Covid-secure rehearsals to go ahead. so we are!
This is the ISM statement (for England):
From 17 May 2021 (Step 3 of the Spring 2021 Roadmap):
All non-professional and amateur music can recommence indoors from Step 3. DCMS is expected to provide a clarificatory update shortly, and in the meantime we rely on the Government's guidance for reopening businesses and venues which states:
"At this step, both outdoor and indoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions: that they comply with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for organised sport or exercise, supervised activities for children or a significant life event)."
AIUI Last month, the ISM told the DCMS "this is our interpretation of you guidelines! Speak up now or we go ahead!"
Sadly, I think DCMS have overlooked the benefits of Amateur music making throughout this.
If you're safe to leap around in organised indoor physical activities, then why not in Covid-safe orchestras??
Chichester Big Band met last night. I think we were pretty safe and, needless to say, it was great to play with other musicians again. And we had cake.What I don't understand is that we've come out of Lockdown before and there were published rules for the Performing Arts from DCMS then. Surely they could easily have said "these rules apply again" or "these rules apply with this adjustment relating to lateral flow tests, or to acceptable separation or whatever".
This afternoon (Tuesday 18th May) the DCMS has updated its guidance for the performing arts and amateur music groups in England are now able to rehearse together indoors in a Covid-secure venue, subject to risk assessment etc.
I have updated the risk assessment for our big band and we are starting back on Thursday evening.