Following the recent move to Alert Level 0 in Wales, Brass Bands Wales is able to present a series of recommendations for the safe continuation of rehearsals and performances by brass bands across Wales.
From 7th August 2021, all premises have been permitted to be open. There are no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, which includes both rehearsals and events/performances. However, under Alert Level 0, organisers will continue to have a legal duty to undertake a COVID-19 specific risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus.
It is important to keep an up-to-date risk assessment in place as COVID-19 continues to represent a risk to health. Be prepared to amend your risk assessment as the situation evolves in line with any changes to legislation and guidance. We recommend you continue to consider the following:
- Testing – encourage members to take a lateral flow test before each rehearsal.
- Ventilation – maintain good ventilation in your rehearsal or performance space.
- Self-Isolation – remind members to self-isolate if they have symptoms or have been contacted by NHS Test Trace Protect. Note that the rules for double-vaccinated people and children under the age of 18 changed on 7th August 2021.
- Congestion – avoid congestion in communal areas. Are you able to maintain a one-way system in and out of your rehearsal space? Allow a maximum number of people to gather in communal areas such as toilets and corridors.
- Face coverings – these remain mandatory in indoor public places and should be worn at all times except for when seated and playing.
Discussion with Members
Once you have circulated your risk assessment to your members, request feedback to ensure that individual participants are comfortable with your health and safety mitigations. This will enable members to make additional suggestions and allow you to come to a consensus on any COVID-19 safety measures which were mandatory but became a matter of personal judgement from 7th August 2021.
The guidance from Welsh Government states:
“Following the change in the law, physical distancing is still a reasonable measure that may be taken, and in many circumstances is likely to be required to be taken, however it is no longer given particular prominence. This means that where other measures can be taken to minimise the risk, such as moving outdoors, requiring people to be tested or vaccinated, using screens etc., physical distancing may not be required or could be required to a lesser extent.”
So, whilst physical distancing is no longer mandatory, it may still be a consideration for your organisation depending on other measures you may or may not be adhering to, in addition to the general consensus of your membership.
We continue to recommend the appointment of a ‘COVID-19 officer’ to take responsibility for ensuring good practice at all times, including the risk assessment and ensuring the appropriate mitigations are in place.
Members are reminded that this information is for guidance purposes only and that the latest information regarding restrictions can be sourced from the Welsh Government’s website.
To find out more about the recommendations in Wales for employers, businesses and organisations, please visit: https://gov.wales/alert-level-0-guidance-employers-businesses-and-organisations