This page was last updated on 21st January-2020
Comments and ideas welcome - email email@example.com with 'Covid-19' in the subject line
What's on this page:
- Current restrictions
- COVID-19 Risk Assessment Aids for Choirs (and Bands**)
- Other guidance
- Advocate for community music
Community Music Victoria is actively speaking to Victorian Government representatives about a best practice, safe return to community music-making as restrictions ease across regional and metropolitan areas of the state.
On 15 January 2021, in line with COVID Safe Summer Restrictions the following was posted on government websites:
"Can I go to a rehearsal or lessons for singing or music?"
Yes. If you are participating in a music or singing rehearsal or lesson it is recommended that you keep at least two metres from other people in the rehearsal or lesson. It is strongly recommended you wear a fitted face mask when you are singing indoors.
"Can I sing as part of a performance?"
- Yes. When singing as part of a performance it is strongly recommended you keep safe by:
- Singing outdoors or in a well ventilated room
- Wearing a mask when singing indoors.
"I’m a musician or in a band - can we rehearse at someone’s home?"
- Yes, but the number of musicians at a home rehearsal is limited to the household cap of 15 visitors per day.
- It is recommended that band members maintain at least two metres between themselves and others.
- It is strongly recommended that you wear a fitted face mask when you are in someone else’s home and singing indoors.
Face masks remain mandatory in some settings, unless you have a lawful reason not to wear one
You must carry a face mask with you when you leave home.
Wearing a face mask is mandatory on public transport, while in taxis or ride share vehicles, or when going to large retail venues, including shopping centres, supermarkets and department stores, on domestic flights to and from Victoria, at airports and in hospitals.
Wearing a face mask is strongly recommended indoors and outdoors when you can’t keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.
Restricted Activity Directions (Victoria) (No. 3)
The current Restricted Activity Directions can be found here. Go to section 17 on page 23 for restrictions on Creative Arts Facilities.
The following is not an 'official' risk assessment for choirs, but has been put together by CMVic to help choirs (and bands) make their own decisions about how they meet to practice. The expectation is that each group has its own particular circumstances, and that they will want to decide collectively what feels right for them. The specific in the table are mostly common sense, but are consistent with results published in El Pais which were derived from this freeware modelling software.
"Any activity where people may expel a lot of air and possibly fine droplets of saliva, such as coughing, sneezing, singing or playing a wind instrument, has the potential to spread COVID-19. In this way, singing and playing certain instruments may be comparable to coughing. When people do these things in groups, the likelihood of the virus being present and spread is increased. The design of wind instruments, which includes flutes, clarinets, recorders, oboes and bassoons, has the potential to allow droplets to be expelled into the air. In the case of brass instruments such as trumpets, trombones and French horns, the droplets may be more likely to remain inside the instrument. While we are not aware of an outbreak associated with playing wind instruments, there have been outbreaks associated with choirs and group singing." (source: https://bandnsw.com/covid-19-coronavirus-statement/)
As restrictions ease and we are able to congregate in small numbers, it is important that all community music activities adhere to the Victorian Government COVID Safe guidelines at every step towards Covid Recovery and anyone who answers “yes” to any of the following questions should not attend a community music group:
- Do you have any cold, flu or fever symptoms?
- Have you returned from overseas in the past 2 weeks?
- Have been in contact with anyone with Covid-19?
- Are you awaiting test results for Covid-19?
- Have you visited a Covid restricted area within the last 2 weeks?
In addition to this:
- Hand sanitising should be available
- Proper sanitising and cleaning should be done before, during and after sessions.
- Record keeping should be maintained
We strongly encourage you to advocate for community music by sending a message to DHHS, thanking them for the advice issued so far, and requesting that they regularly keep arts and entertainment advice up to date as things change. Community music is a vital pathway for the wellbeing of many communities, and so it's essential that professional health care workers regularly review what's safe for singers and instrumentalists who want to meet together for social contact and fun.
You can do this through their website here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/website-feedback