The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has tonight (9 July) issued a
press release and new guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants. This guidance includes a change which has significant ramifications for Brass Bands England (BBE) member bands, which will prevent even small groups from gathering to play with immediate effect.
Contrary to advice received previously, the guidance states: “Non-professionals should currently not engage in singing or playing wind and brass instruments with other people given these activities pose a potentially higher risk of transmission and whilst research is ongoing. DCMS has commissioned further scientific studies to be carried out to develop robust scientific data for these activities. Existing and emerging evidence will be analysed to assist the development of policy and guidelines.”
In a statement given directly to BBE, a representative of the DCMS said: “All Government guidance is continually updated in line with the latest public health advice. We completely appreciate how keen people are to get back to performing together and as you may have seen we are funding a study into the risks around brass instruments, but for the moment playing brass instruments, especially in groups, are considered higher risk activities because of the potential for aerosol production and therefore should not be conducted by groups of non-professionals at this stage.”