Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on 31 October, Brass Bands England (BBE) has now received clarification from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) over exactly how the second national lockdown will affect banding activity.
The DCMS has confirmed that from 5 November until lockdown restrictions are lifted, all amateur performing arts activity must stop. This includes all non-school based youth groups, adult and community groups. The Performing Arts Guidance will be updated to reflect this change in the coming days.
In addition - and in line with the guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - BBE has confirmed that most amateur groups cannot play at events to mark Remembrance Sunday. The guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-preparations-for-remembrance-sunday/local-authority-preparations-for-remembrance-sunday details that only ‘small, military bands’ can perform under social distancing although ‘buglers can perform outdoors at Remembrance Sunday events’. We understand this to include single cornet and trumpet players, who should play only under socially-distanced conditions. It is also our understanding that the definition of military bands includes any band administered by the British armed forces, including reservist bands, but these performances should be conducted under the requirements set out in the armed forces risk assessment policy and procedures.
Full details of the measures being taken during the lockdown can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Guidance for the performing arts can be found here which is due to be updated before the 5 November changes take place https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts
BBE will continue to monitor advice to support a resumption of activity when this again becomes possible. Bands should note that when restrictions are lifted the current guidelines and risk assessments required are likely to be reinstated so any bands having made preparations or already having returned should expect to once again follow this guidance.
If anyone has questions on restarting or continuing banding activities, then please contact BBE on 01226 771015 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls so please be assured we will get back to you but it may take us some time. Our web resources might be able to help you sooner.