We have a number of precautions in place to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid. The choir includes people who are in the "exceptionally clinically vulnerable" category, including the choir's co-director (Toni). Our approach to keeping the whole choir safe is as robust as possible.
Symptoms: If you have any symptoms of Covid, or any other transmissible illness such as a cold, you must not attend choir sessions. (This is to reduce the risk of infection for the rest of the choir).
Vaccinations: You must be up-to-date with any available Covid vaccinations and boosters (or have them booked in the near future) in order to attend. If you are medically exempt from vaccination, please speak to us in advance so we can make arrangements that will allow you to attend safely. (This is to reduce the risk of infection for you and the rest of the choir, and to reduce the chances of severe illness if you were to be infected).
Lateral flow test: You must provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within the 12 hours preceding the session. If you log the results of your test on the Government website, this will show on the NHS app, and will be emailed and/or texted to you - showing this email, text, or entry on the NHS app is the proof we require. For more information about getting hold of lateral flow tests and displaying the results, see below. (This is to reduce the chances of someone attending who has the virus without being symptomatic).
Masks: Whilst signing in, moving around the venue and talking to others face-to-face, you must wear a mask covering your mouth and nose. Once you've taken your seat, you can remove it if you choose. You do not have to wear a mask whilst singing unless you choose to. (This is to reduce the risk of transmission from larger droplets emitted whilst talking).
Ventilation: We use air quality monitors to check the ventilation in our venues, and if the levels of CO2 begin to approach 800ppm, we will increase ventilation by opening windows and/or doors. This can result in a colder venue than we would like, so we recommend dressing warmly in cold weather. (This is to reduce the risk of transmission from aerosolised droplets that can spread throughout a room).
Seating: All venues will have moveable seats, and you will be responsible for putting your own seat out (and only your own), and putting it back at the end of the session (if you need assistance with this, please ask). Within each voice part, we ask that people who are happy to sit close together sit towards the front, and people who prefer more distance sit towards the back. Make sure that the people around you are happy with the distances between you when you choose where to put your seat. (This is to reduce the risk of transmission from larger droplets emitted from singing, whilst ensuring those who are comfortable with a higher level of risk are able to sit closer together).
All of these precautions are designed to reduce the level of risk. It is not possible to eliminate the risk entirely, but each precaution will reduce the risk somewhat. This is why we have multiple precautions in place - none of them will eliminate the risk on its own, but taken together, they reduce risk to a level that we feel is reasonable. We monitor the situation regarding the spread of Covid closely, and we reserve the right to amend these precautions, or to move entirely online, if we believe the situation warrants it.
If you don't attend a session "live" but would still like to participate, we will be running sessions online via Zoom as well. These will be recorded and available to watch back afterwards if you can't make them at their scheduled time. This will be helpful if you have to miss any sessions due to illness, holiday, self-isolating, or not feeling ready to be back "in the room" just yet.
A note about lateral flow tests
You can order boxes of 7 lateral flow tests for free from the NHS using this link. You can also get them at most pharmacies.
Each lateral flow test has instructions on how to use it, and how to report your result to the NHS afterwards. You can also report your result using this link. Once you've reported your result, you can display it to us in order to gain access to an in-person session in a number of ways:
It may be sent to your mobile phone by text - you can show us this text
It may be emailed to you - you can show us this email on your phone, or print it out
It may be logged on your NHS app - you can show us this entry on your NHS app on your phone
If you need help reporting your result to the NHS, they have help available on the web here, or by calling 119.
If you have any questions about any aspect of our Covid protocols, please ask us in advance.
Please note that we will not make exceptions to any of these rules unless they have been agreed with us in advance. If there are any of our Covid precautions that would prevent you from attending, please speak to us before attending. If there are medical reasons why you can't comply with a particular rule, we will work with you to find a solution that enables you to attend whilst keeping everyone as safe as we can.