COVID Guidance – Update January 2022

The Brass Band League has recently reviewed our previously published guidance relating to how bands should operate in these COVID times.

Whilst official restrictions are easing and the Omicron variant has proven to be less serious, although still highly transmissible, we recommend that bands continue to exercise caution when rehearsing and performing.

Our risk assessment template remains as is however we would ask bands to consider that Northern Ireland still has the highest rate of COVID infections per capita when compared with England, Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland.

It is therefore recommended that:

  • Band members conduct a lateral flow test prior to attending.
  • Bands maintain distancing beyond 1m where practical to do so.
  • Risk assessments should continue to be completed, irrespective of the numbers of people in attendance.
  • A record of attendance at each rehearsal be retained for 28 days.
  • Face coverings be worn by members when not in their seats.
  • Forehead temperature of members is checked at the point of entry.
  • Hand sanitiser be used at the point of entry and exit.
  • No equipment (e.g. stands, music, chairs, percussion, mutes) should be shared.
  • Each member uses a towel to collect any “water” from their instruments and towels are laundered between rehearsals.
  • Bands hold rehearsals outdoors where feasible.
  • For indoor rehearsals, windows and doors should be opened and enhanced ventilation systems be considered, where feasible.
  • Bands consider using HEPA filters to reduce the amount of airborne COVID particles in indoor environments.
  • Bands consider the use of screens and/or bell covers.

Please remember that the closer people sit the higher the risk of transmission. Risk also increases with fewer mitigation measures in place.

The highest risk is using an indoor, crowded, poorly ventilated space for a long period of time.