This page was last updated on 15-April-2021
Comments and ideas welcome - email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 15th April, 2021, 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, and keep safe by singing outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.
You are recommended to wear a face mask when singing indoors or outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
"I’m a musician or in a band – can I perform to an audience?
- You can perform music in indoor and outdoor venues across Victoria.
It is recommended that:
- singers and musicians keep two metres distance from each other
- the stage not be positioned directly above the audience
- singers and musicians be at least five metres from the audience where practical
- performances are held outdoors where possible.
You can find advice and more information on current restrictions by visiting Arts and entertainment services sector guidance.
"I’m a musician or in a band - can we rehearse at someone’s home?"
Yes, but restrictions remain on gathering limits in the home of 100.
It is recommended that band members maintain at least two metres between themselves and others.
You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
Restricted Activity Directions (Victoria) (No. 11)
COVID Safe Requirements
Venues and facilities have specific requirements such as operating with a COVIDSafe Plan, density limits (maximum numbers of people allowed in a space), cleaning and record keeping for contract tracing.
Entertainment and culture workers and businesses can access Industry Restart Guidelines on the Arts and entertainment services sector guidance page of the DHHS website.
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