The guidance on Social Distancing across Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is broadly consistent, each specifying advice on the social distancing requirements that need to be followed.
The key differences are road map specific the dates when indoor and outdoor activity can resume, and the numbers of people allowed to gather. These details are sign posted on the Government Web Sites.
- England (gov.uk) – What you can and cannot do.
- Scotland (gov.scot) – Protection Levels what you can do.
- Wales (gov.wales) – Alert Level 2.
- Northern Ireland (indirect.gov.uk) – What the restrictions mean for you.
The advice these sites provide is to help minimise the overall risk of transmission when playing.
There is a need to implement steps to reduce the risk of transmission, including limiting the number of people participating and increasing ventilation. The cumulative effect of aerosol transmission means the more people involved, the higher the risk of transmission.
When considering how practices can resume there is a need to ensure that:-
- No one is participating if suffering with symptoms of COVID-19 or when advised to self-isolate.
- That the Social Distancing Rule (currently 2m) is observed.
- Outdoors is used wherever possible.
- The duration of practice is limited, as far as possible.
- Participants wear a face covering. If this is not practical, for example, when playing some instruments, Use back-to-back or side-to-side positioning (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
- the best use of the practice venue is considered, compliant with its risk assessment, having regard to:
- the size of the space.
- The ventilation within the space
- the positioning of musicians within the space, observing physical distancing
- the effectiveness of any rooms, booths, barriers or screens in use
There is a lot to consider for any Band wishing to return to practices. The Pipe Major of Lower Clyde Pipes and Drums, Gordon McDermid and the Bands executive committee have considered the advice and guidance provided and looked at how this would need to be applied in their circumstances.
They have produced a framework they are looking to implement once the Scottish Government confirms indoor practices can resume according to their level 1 covid-19 protection levels. This has been considered by Stuart McMillan, Greenock and Inverclyde M.S.P and also Dr. John Harden Deputy National Clinical Advisor for the Scottish Government.
The framework was made available to the Board of Directors of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association for communication to its Members, to be used as a starting point in their own journey in returning to practices. Please click here for the framework in PDF format.
Our thanks go to Gordon McDermid and the Lower Clyde Pipes and Drums.