Specific COVID-19 recommendations for choirs and singers

The Irish government has released specific recommendations for choirs and group singing for when we enter Phase 3 of COVID-19 restriction easing on Monday 29th June.

It says the following:

Choir rehearsals have previously been linked to outbreaks in a number of countries (UK, US, Netherlands, South Korea). In addition, there is some evidence emerging that the playing of brass and some woodwind instruments (e.g. trumpets, trombones, flutes) in groups may be associated with a higher risk of infection due to increased droplet transmission or aerosol emission.

Given the potential increased risk of transmission especially due to group singing, choirs and playing brass and some wind instruments in groups, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Choir practice, teaching and performance, brass and wind instruments music group practice, teaching and performance should be done while maintaining very strict physical distancing of a minimum of 2 metres from other people, ideally outdoors, limit duration of indoor practice, teaching and performance with frequent breaks to facilitate regular ventilation of rooms and instrument cleaning (where applicable);
  • Singers, choirs and musicians of brass and some woodwind instruments should consider protective equipment and measures to minimise the potential for droplet or aerosol emission (e.g. instrument covers, screens, face coverings etc).
  • Where group practice or performances are organised, a risk assessment should be carried out to minimise the risk to the participants and their audience, including bearing in mind the age profile and risk factors of the participants/audience in question.

For any choral directors or group leaders looking for further advice and guidance, Sing Ireland are hosting a free webinar Looking to the Future of Group Singing in Ireland on Wednesday 8th July.