Drama and music
There is a hierarchy of risk in these activities: outdoors being safer than indoors; activities undertaken at low volume or that have lower respiratory exertion being safer than aerosol-generating activities; individual or small numbers involved being safer than large groups; activities involving no sharing of equipment being safer than those that do (or where equipment cannot be cleaned thoroughly between uses); and activities which can be done at a distance (or virtually) being safer than those in close proximity. Shorter duration carries lower risk than longer duration.
In assessing and managing risk, service providers should assess the number of individuals (staff, volunteers, children and young people) that can safely be accommodated in a setting at any one time, using the guidance set out here.
Drama can take place at any level outdoors, and from Level 3 indoors.
Lower risk activities, such as music activities with percussion, keyboards, strings and guitars, can take place subject to all mitigations being in place.
Playing of woodwind or brass instruments is seen as a high risk activity, particularly when carried out in groups or when instruments are shared. [WC((2] More information on how to lower the risk is set out in the most recent guidance on physical activity and expressive arts and in the guidance on performing arts.
They are seen as lower risk in a one-to-one environment, where there is good ventilation (if indoor) or taken outside.
Indoor activities are not permitted at Level 4. Outdoor and digital options can continue.
A number of activities for children including singing, are known to have many benefits. However, singing, especially in large groups, is considered a higher risk activity at present because of the potential for aerosol production. The most recent scientific advice from the Advisory Sub Group on Education and children’s issues recently published further guidance on the risk profile of each activity and has produced table to help inform next steps here.
As this activity is seen as higher risk, then considering limiting the numbers who take part should be part of the risk assessment. In assessing and managing risk, service providers should assess the number of individuals (staff, volunteers, children and young people) that can safely be accommodated in a setting at any one time, using the guidance set out here.
The risk is lower for younger children, but where these activities involve adults such as parent/baby groups, it is recommended that singing indoors, as the main part of any activity, only takes place indoors for younger children (under 8) from Level 3, under 12s from Level 2, with adults participating indoors from Level 1.
Some of the risk is reduced if the activity is taken outdoors. It will be up to each individual group/organisation/service provider to consider how or if this can be done safely. Outdoors, singing for younger children (under 8) can also begin at Level 3, and for everyone from Level 2, including adults.
Choirs can commence from Level 2 outdoors, and from Level 1 indoors, with appropriate mitigations on physical distancing and increased ventilation. More information on how to undertake performances safely is available in the performing arts guidance
Indoor activities are not permitted at Level 4.