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COVID-19 Procedures

CURRENT POSITION: As of September 8th 2021 we are resuming regular rehearsals indoors. We are following the latest DCMS guidance, which is set out below.

The committee has been closely following the latest Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) guidance as interpreted by Making Music. 

DCMS have confirmed that from July 19th 2021; 

  • There will be no limits on the number of people that can gather to rehearse indoors or outdoors
  • The need to socially distance has been removed

However, the move to step 4 and easing of restrictions does not mean risk of Covid has disappeared, and groups will still need measures in place to ensure they are providing a safe environment.

DCMS have not updated their arts sector specific guidance for step 4. Instead the government has published Events and Attractions guidance that covers how to operate at step 4 and from 19 July.  It contains guidance on mitigations to help reduce the spread of the virus, with six priority actions:

  • Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risks from COVID-19. 
  • Turn people with COVID-19 symptoms away. 
  • Provide adequate ventilation. 
  • Clean more often. 
  • Enable people to check in at your venue to track any infections. 
  • Communicate and train.

The purpose of this document is to provide members with our Risk Assessment and to outline our plans for a return to rehearsals.  It will be updated every time new Government Guidance is issued.

Click here to view our COVID Risk Assessment

PLAN FOR RETURN TO REHEARSALS

We are returning to the Aylesbury Music Centre (AMC) for our regular rehearsals

A limited number of consumables such as gloves, disinfectant wipes or spray and other cleaning materials will be provided by the orchestra for use by the volunteers who set up and re-set the room.  Also, hand gel for one or more hand sanitisations station at the entrance to the venue/room will be provided but members are requested to bring their own where possible.  Members will be required to bring a face mask and any other wipes etc. they may require for their own use.

A message will be sent to members explaining in detail what measures we are putting in place and our plan for resuming rehearsals.  The message will request that members carry out their own personal Risk Assessment based on this information and decide whether they wish to return yet or not.  It is important that we do not unintentionally make anyone feel excluded, but only they can know their own individual level of vulnerability.  The message will inform members that a register of attendees will be kept for track and trace purposes.

We will put the following measures in place for our initial return to rehearsals, but then constantly monitor the situation and relax any measures that we feel are appropriate or add more as the situation changes and according to guidance from Government and Making Music.  

PREPARATION

  • AMC have completed their own risk assessment to make the venue Covid secure and we will provide a copy of our own risk assessment to them for approval before the first rehearsal. 
  • We will use volunteers each week to arrive early to:
    • Ensure our members do not enter the AMC building until the previous group has left
    • Ensure a notice with a checklist of restrictions is on display (see below).
    • Clean and set out chairs for players (using hard chairs where possible).
  • Members attending rehearsals must complete the Rehearsal Register on the website before attending. The Rehearsal Register will also act as our own attendance register for the purpose of the NHS Test & Trace programme.

ARRIVAL

  • One of the volunteers will control the door and only allow people in when the previous group has left.
  • Players should bring their own face mask, hand gel or wipes and their own liquid refreshment. Food will not be permitted in the venue.
  • On a notice outside the door there will be a check list that players should read and consider before entering.  If any of the following apply to them, they should not enter:
    • Those in high risk groups
    • Anyone who has been in contact with someone with symptoms of Covid-19 in the previous 5-6 days
    • Anyone who has symptoms
    • Anyone with a temperature above 37.5C
  • A register of attendees will be kept for track and trace purposes.  Contact details for all members are already held. A volunteer will check the register against attendees.
  • Members are encouraged to use the NHS QR Code on display at the entrance.

REHEARSING

  • Players should wear face masks whilst entering, leaving and moving around the venue.
  • Brass players must bring a cloth or other receptacle to catch condensation from their instrument and take it away with them.
  • Horn players must practice more frequent hand washing/wiping as they play with their hand inside the instrument where there is greater potential for infected moisture from condensation.
  • The rehearsal and any break duration is at the MD's discretion, the room will be kept ventilated with all doors and windows open.
  • There will be no special arrangements for cleaning of toilet facilities between users, so members must be prepared to bring their own hand gel and disinfectant wipes to be able to clean door handles and toilet seats etc. to their own satisfaction should they need to use these facilities.

LEAVING

  • Volunteers will remain behind to wipe down and put away the chairs.
  • Volunteers will wipe down door handles on leaving the building

PLAN FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS

The ASO Committee is jointly responsible for producing, reviewing, and implementing the ASO COVID-19 Procedures. The Committee includes the conductor and leader of the orchestra.

Whilst Government guidance around performing arts remains in place the Committee will;

  • Monitor government guidance on local lockdowns and restrictions
  • Monitor the Making Music website and news for relevant updates
  • Liaise regularly between each other using the WhatsApp group
  • Hold regular online meetings to discuss arrangements
  • Communicate regularly with members

PLAN FOR VOLUNTEERS

The Committee will lead the arrangements for rehearsing safely but additional volunteers are needed to share the workload.

At each rehearsal, the volunteers will

  • Arrive 20 minutes before rehearsal starts
  • Put out signage
  • Set out the chairs in the hall
  • Wipe down the chairs with sanitiser wipes
  • Supervise the arrival of players, ensuring that overcrowding does not form in the foyer
  • Make sure people keep their face coverings on when moving around the venue