Brass Bands England offers sector support advice on the latest COVID-19 guidelines from DCMS

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At the MIA, we are only too aware of the constant flow of COVID-19 updates, but we would naturally want you to know about the latest, latest news, especially when it concerns playing live music! The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has updated the guidance for performing arts which has particular effect for brass bands. The change in the guidance allows groups of up to six players to again rehearse outdoors, or with members of two households playing together inside. This is good news, but all activity will need to be considered on its own merits…

In response to the scientific studies commissioned by the DCMS, and with additional reference to the research presented recently by Brass Bands England (BBE), the DCMS has now announced notable changes in the rules, with considerable implications for brass bands.

It states that non-professionals can now engage in brass and wind playing, as well as singing, but in line with the wider guidance. This change will allow groups of up to six players to again rehearse outdoors, or with members of two households playing together inside. Bands constituted as charities or businesses, or which run venues, may now host larger groups provided they can meet COVID secure guidelines and social distancing requirements. All activity will require a risk assessment to be in place for the activity, and groups of over six or two households must recognise that accountability for all actions lies with the registered business, charity or venue concerned.

It is important to remember that this guidance is there to support the resumption of activities, but all activity will need to be considered on its own merits taking into account specific situations and bands’ own members’ health and safety. Organisers should familiarise themselves with the DCMS guidance and ensure that a proper risk assessment is available for all activity.

At the below link, you can read an article by Brass Bands England, where they provide a full summary of the DCMS guidance for amateur Brass Bands:

www.bbe.org.uk/news/bbe-offers-sector-support-advice-the-latest-covid-19-pandemic-guidelines-dcms