Beccles Community Choir 2022 sessions
COVID UPDATE – 10th January, 2022
Given how transmissible the new Omicron variant seems to be, I thought I would update everybody about the procedures and COVID control measures that Beccles Community Choir sessions will adhere to in order to keep everybody as safe as we are able to.
We will continue to request that everybody who attends (with the exception of those who have a mask exemption) wears a facecovering/mask to rehearsal.
We will REMOVE THESE when we sing (although, if you feel safer wearing a mask for the entire session, please DO and you can find recommendations for masks made to sing in at this link http://www.beccleschoir.co.uk/join-us/ – scroll to the bottom)
In line with government recommendations, you may consider testing using a LFD test prior to attending rehearsal.
I appreciate that these kits are now becoming difficult to obtain via Gov.uk and pharmacies and if we bear in mind that even NHS workers are only required to test twice a week, then I don’t want to encourage obsessive use of these – especially since they don’t offer any protection and are not 100% reliable.
(N.B: If you have symptoms, have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive or have been contacted by Track & Trace – then you MUST test (negative) in order to attend choir.)
I had COVID over Christmas and only felt unwell for about 12 hours but I know that others may be affected more severely.
To encourage people to feel safe, I will test before each session. It’s important to remember that we have these procedures and control measures in place to reduce the risk of contracting COVID but that it is not possible to reduce the risk to zero. Therefore, if you are still worried, please stay at home.
If anybody decides to exclude themselves from rehearsals but is missing singing, please feel free to join my Online Choir www.onlinechoir.uk – we have people from several different countries and timezones and we sing a broadly similar repertoire but with mostly different songs.
COVID UPDATE – 12th December, 2021
CONTROL MEASURE UPDATE – Facemasks
Following recent reporting about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID in the UK, the government held a COVID update on Thursday 9th December. During this announcement, Borish Johnson stated that facecoverings would become compulsory from 10th December in most public indoor venues. As a result of this, we will be updating our control measures to request that everybody (with the exception of those who have a mask exemption) wears a facecovering/mask to rehearsal.
We will REMOVE THESE when we sing.
Please also note that there has a been a change to the Government guidance around contact with somebody who tests positive for COVID.
From Tuesday 14 December, people who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 (whether Omicron or not) should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for 7 days.
This change will affect our Track & Trace procedure.
COVID UPDATE – 20th July, 2021
On Monday 19th July in line with their plans to ease restrictions at step 4 for England, the government ended all legal restrictions on social contact. The statement that the government made about these easing of restrictions also confirmed that amateur singing is allowed to commence in numbers greater than six people.
This means that Beccles Community Choir recommenced physical rehearsals on Tuesday 7th September
I am sure that many of you will be both excited about the prospect of singing again after such an extended hiatus but may also feel apprehensive about returning to choir and your usual hobbies and activities. If you ARE planning to return to our rehearsals, I hope that you feel encouraged and confident to do so by the procedures we have in place to keep us COVID-compliant as laid out below.
Therefore, please note the following control measures that we will observe:
- Please bring your own lyrics and music sheets to each session.
There is a link below which will show the list of songs that we will be covering (The black button which says Click here for Practice List and Repertoire’). If you are able to, please print your own lyrics (or download to bring along on your own device).
If you are unable to print lyrics at home, I can supply lyrics for you and will distribute them in line with our COVID-19 risk assessment.
- Our booking system will operate as our own Track & Trace list – I will keep this list for 21 days.
N.B: From 16th August, if you are double jabbed or aged under 18, you will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case (although you are advised to get a free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible. This is different to a lateral flow test).
- Hand sanitising stations are placed around the Waveney Centre – please use them upon arrival, during break-time and after any visit to the toilets.
- The Waveney Centre will be kept well ventilated. During winter, we will operate our own air monitor to gauge the quality of the airflow within the centre. If the monitor shows an Orange light, we will open the large patio doors – therefore, please bring a coat or jumper to wear.
- As part of this ventilation, the sessions will comprise 2x 30-minutes of singing separated by a break-time. During this break-time, you are encouraged to move into the gardens outside.
In addition to the above control measures, I also have the following suggestions for us all to try and follow:
- Please try to avoid touching any shared surfaces. All chairs, door handles, toilets and touchpoints will be disinfected prior to and after rehearsal.
- No drinking water will be available at rehearsal – please bring your own bottle.
- I will encourage singing to only take place whilst facing forward. (When we briefly managed to resume rehearsals in Autumn 2020, this was a strict requirement – at this time, it will just be an encouragement from me).
- We now take contactless payment by Smartphone, Debit Card or Chip & Pin. (You can definitely still pay by cash though if you wish to)
- Please bring your own pen or pencil if you wish to make notes on your lyric sheets.
- Chairs will be placed prior to arrival. Please do not move or re-position them.
- We are not required to wear face coverings but anybody who wishes to still wear one is encouraged to do so.
In order that we do not exceed our maximum attendance allowance of 50 people and to ensure that I have phone number/email for anybody who has attended should we need to contact you regarding Track & Trace, I am requesting that everybody books a place in advance.
- Do you have any of these symptoms: continuous cough, fever/high temperature (37.8°c or greater), loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste?
- Have you been in close contact with someone with symptoms or COVID-19?
- Have NHS Track & Trace asked you to self-isolate? (You are no longer required to do so if you are double jabbed)
…If the answer to any of these is yes, please exclude yourself from our rehearsals.
- If you fall ill after attending a rehearsal, please test for COVID-19. If you test positive – contact Stephen immediately.
- If NHS Track & Trace contact you and ask you to self-isolate, please contact Stephen immediately.
Please make your own decision about whether you are happy to return – there is no pressure for you to do so if you have any health concerns about being in public.
The aim of these measures are to keep us all safe whilst singing together and to supply you with the information about how we will conduct our rehearsals so that you have the confidence to make an informed decision about whether it is appropriate for you to return to choir yet.
However, measures cannot reduce the risk to zero – if you book a space and click SUBMIT you confirm that you understand this.
The test for people without symptoms of COVID-19 is called a rapid lateral flow test.
The tests usually involve rubbing a long cotton bud inside both nostrils.
They are available free from GOV.uk and will give you a result within 15-30 minutes.
N.B: I do not require you to have taken a lateral flow test before attending Beccles Community Choir.
We are no longer legally required to wear face coverings indoors. Therefore, nobody will be required to wear a face mask to attend our sessions. HOWEVER, if you would prefer to wear one and feel safer doing so – PLEASE DO WEAR ONE… There will be no judgements or politics about face coverings and you need not feel at all conscious if it is your decision to wear one.
If you think you may wear a mask to attend rehearsals and would like to find one that you can sing in, you may find these following links useful. These websites have masks specifically made for singers – which prevent you inhaling your mask when breathing in and still allowing a full range of jaw and facial movement:
If you would like to clarify ANY of the above or require further information, please contact Stephen.
If you would like to see the previous measures that we adopted in Autumn 2020 (when we briefly managed to recommence physical rehearsals), please click here.