SPOTLIGHT ON: ISOBEL DAWS - Talented trombonist on her flourishing career

Issue 6072

EUROPEAN CANCELLED - Major contest off for second successive year as COVID continues

SOUND OF CHRISTMAS - Bands in England given green light to resume as lockdown ends

BBE clarifies effect of three-tier COVID legislation

Tuesday 20 October, 2020

Brass bands in England can continue to rehearse, meeting in accordance with the three-tier COVID-19 legislation recently announced by prime minister, Boris Johnson.

A flurry of enquiries had been directed at Brass Bands England following news of the new legislation, which came into force earlier in October. However, after liaising with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, BBE has confirmed that bands can continue to undertake their rehearsal activities while adhering to strict measures.

The information states: “ a COVID-secure venue or public outdoor place, non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups, can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between separate and distinct groups of no more than six (In Medium areas and outdoors) or individual households (in High and Very High areas). If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups (depending on Local Covid Alert Level restrictions) – including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising – then such non-professional activity should not take place.”

Kenny Crookston, chief executive officer, commented: “We have been inundated with enquiries from members regarding the new, three-tier COVID-19 alert system. It is hoped that this will help to bring some clarity to the situation, which was also among the government’s intentions when it introduced this strategy. This still leaves choices open for bands, but we would reiterate that safety of band members, their families and the general public remains of paramount importance and we firmly recommend that those who do indulge in collective banding activity follow guidelines previously published by BBE in conjunction with the DCMS and that they pay close attention to the risk assessments published on the BBE website.”

In order to run a COVID-secure rehearsal, bands must produce and follow a risk assessment to cover all aspects of the rehearsal process, from members’ arrival until they leave, to ensure social distancing throughout and making sure ‘mingling’ does not occur throughout the group. Example risk assessments are available from BBE’s advice and resources page.

BBE is also working on a risk assessment for public performances and hopes to have that available in the next few weeks. Anyone with questions should contact BBE on 01226 771015 or