Please note that there is (currently) a STRICT MAXIMUM of 24 people allowed to attend each rehearsal (this may be increased – please read below).
Therefore, it is essential that you book a place if you wish to attend.
COVID STATEMENT 6th July, 2021
Yesterday’s government announcement confirmed that (subject to a final review of the data next week), legal restrictions on social contact will end on Monday 19th July as the government plans to ease restrictions at step 4 for England. The statement also confirmed that amateur singing will be allowed to commence in numbers greater than six people.
We are sure that many of you will be both happy but may also feel apprehensive about returning to your usual hobbies and activities. We cannot wait to see you again if you are planning to return to our rehearsals but we will ensure that you feel encouraged and confident to do so by the procedures we have in place to keep us all safe and COVID-compliant.
Therefore, we will: encourage people who want to do so to wear face coverings as you enter, move about and leave our rehearsal space, use the hand sanitisers that we will have at rehearsals, have an online link to our repertoire/lyrics and request that you print, where possible, from home and bring to rehearsals with you.
When we compiled our COVID risk assessment last September, we arrived at a figure of 24 people allowed to attend rehearsals in order to observe social distance. The government has stated that social distancing will NOT need to continue – that there will be no limits on social contact and that the 1m-plus rule can be removed. We will not disband social distancing entirely but we have not decided yet whether we will still observe it (ie: to a maximum of 24 singers) or relax the distancing dimensions slightly. We will clarify this as we get nearer to the date or have a full capacity. Either way, you will still NEED TO BOOK A PLACE – and can do so below.
As usual with these Government announcements, the word “if” is doing a lot of heavy lifting – so nothing is certain until the Government makes their statement which is expected to happen on 12th July, after the latest Covid health data has been reviewed.
COVID STATEMENT 14th June, 2021
We are (very cautiously!) delighted to announce that we are aiming to recommence rehearsals in July!
Our preparation and plans have been dealt a bit of a blow (along with most other choir leaders across the country!) because despite DCMS promising guidance in advance of step 3 (Step 3 being the proposed relaxing of restrictions from 17th May – this being confirmed through a national announcement by the government on 10th May), on 18th May it was announced by DCMS that (despite other groups being able to meet in larger numbers than 6 indoors -Zumba, brass bands and others) “Non-professional singing indoors should only take place in a single group of up to 6 people.” Link to published statement here, section 2.4.
Prior to this, we weren’t just intending that we would restart choir regardless of everybody’s safety and wellbeing for the sake of getting singing again but we did feel that our previous risk assessment and mitigations were an adequate mitigation against COVID and to allow people to feel encouraged to come along to a safe environment.
So, the plan is…. that we are working towards the government date of 19th July for step four. This is where the Government aims to completely relax social distancing if safe to do so at that point. IF step four happens as per the governments planned roadmap into post-pandemic, then we are proposing that we restart rehearsals on Tuesday 20th July.
Obviously, if the government do not ease restrictions and, in particular, do not allow non-professional music groups to meet in numbers higher than six then we would have to cancel these rehearsals. This would give us potentially just ONE DAYS NOTICE so please check back here or look for announcements on our Facebook page or WhatsApp group.
We hope that makes sense? In short:
- We hope to restart on Tuesday 20th July.
- With social distancing in place.
- For up to 24 people (possibly relaxed to allow more people – but with just one days notice for this, hence the need to have a capacity of 24 people for booking purposes).
- If on (or near) 19th July, Government announce that restrictions will again NOT be eased (into step four) then, almost certainly, we will have to suspend these rehearsals.
Largely, the control measures and risk assessment from the few sessions when we managed to meet last Autumn will be unchanged but there are a few changes, as follows:
Government guidance states: “At this step, both outdoor and indoor gatherings or events, organised by a business, charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised, subject to specific conditions: that they comply with COVID-Secure guidance including taking reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, complete a related risk assessment; and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for organised sport or exercise, supervised activities for children or a significant life event).”
The total number of people attending a gathering/rehearsal can be more than the social contact limit (the rule of six) – but those numbers must always remain in sub-groups within social contact limits. Therefore, we CAN meet in a large group size than six (ie: our maximum socially distanced rehearsal of 28 people) but during arrival, breaktime and on leaving, we need to manage numbers safely within social contact limits and so, people should only stay in a maximum sub-group of no more than 6 and with no mixing/switching between the sub-groups.
If you usually would come alone, then please continue to do that. However, I know that some small groups of friends arrive together and chat together during breaktime and this is allowed – as long as we observe the rule of 6.
This means that our own rules are very simple and clear which will make rehearsing much easier to manage and understand.
If you are not sure exactly what this means for you, please feel free to get in touch and we can try and verbally explain.
THESE ARE COMPLETELY OPTIONAL AND FOR YOUR OWN PEACE OF MIND! The test for people without symptoms of COVID-19 is called a rapid lateral flow test.
This usually involves rubbing a long cotton bud (swab) over your tonsils (or where they would have been) and inside your nose.
The tests can give you a result in 30 minutes.
We will not be supplying these tests – you can order them free from GOV.uk
As mentioned below, we will arrive, break and leave wearing face coverings but we will NOT be singing in face coverings…
…UNLESS you prefer to – there will be no atmosphere of judgements or politics about face coverings – if you are exempt, you are welcome to come along and if you feel safer to wear one whilst singing, please JUST DO WEAR ONE!
If the latter is the case, 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:
This one particularly seems very useful and effective – a silicone spacer which fits underneath a facemask, allowing for more comfortable singing while wearing a mask:
Sing Safe UK
COVID STATEMENT 10th May, 2021
It has been announced today by the government that the Step three easing of Covid restrictions which were planned for 17th May are going ahead.
This means that concert halls, theatres and other venues can now open to limited audiences for professional performances but there is no official guidance from the government on whether amateur choirs and music groups can recommence rehearsals.
So, I am exploring what advice and clarity national music organisations and unions such as The Association of British Choral Directors, Making Music UK and The Musicians Union can provide since they are all working closely with DCMS to support choir leaders, choirs and music groups.
The government is currently working towards a date of 21st June (Step four) when “all legal limits on social contact can be removed.” If this happens as plans, then we will be able to recommence from this date but also possibly before – as soon as I am confident that I can make the decision for us to safely and responsibly recommence rehearsals, I will announce it here, let you know and open bookings for rehearsals.
COVID STATEMENT 10th September, 2020
We were delighted by the recent update from the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) which stated that non-professionals can now engage in all performing arts activities, including singing, wind and brass.
As a result of that announcement and because The Seagull Theatre is a COVID-secure venue, we plan to restart physical (COVID-compliant) rehearsals for The Rogues Shanty Chorus from 13th October!
There will be a STRICT MAXIMUM of 24 people allowed to attend each rehearsal. We cannot exceed this number and so it is essential that you book a place if you wish to attend.
COVID STATEMENT 6th September, 2020
Yesterday’s announcement by the Government that “Social gatherings above six people will be banned from 14th September” does not affect our plans to restart physical rehearsals for The Rogues Shanty Chorus.
The document that this Government update pertains to is: COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities LINK
…and (in particular) Section 2a: Social distancing and capacity, paragraph 6: “Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6.”
Our risk assessment, social distance rules and various control measures still apply.
Please read “Control Measures” underneath this online booking form
BEFORE entering your details and clicking SUBMIT.
BOOK YOUR PLACE
…at our next practise session
In addition to the Control Measures that the Seagull Theatre have implemented, The Rogues Shanty Chorus will be introducing the following additional measures.
We ask that you read through all of these prior to attending your first rehearsal.
WHAT RISK CATEGORY ARE YOU?
Prior to the first rehearsal you come to, please advise Stephen or Paul whether you are a:
- High risk individual
- Moderate risk individual
- Low risk individual (those who do not fall within the high or moderate risk category)
Have you been shielding?
If Yes, has this been for you or because of somebody in your household or support bubble?
- Do you have any of these symptoms: elevated temperature (above 37.8°c), continuous cough, loss of smell and taste?
- Have you been in close contact with someone with symptoms?
- Have NHS Track & Trace contacted you and asked you to self-isolate?
- Have you returned from abroad and been asked to self-isolate?
…If the answer to any of these is yes, you will need to stay away.
What you need to do…
PRIOR TO CHOIR:
- Please bring your own lyrics to each session.
There is a link at the bottom this page to access our full repertoire and all songs. Please download and print any lyrics that you do not already have.
If you are unable to print lyrics at home, please let Stephen or Paul know – we can supply lyrics for you but will need to distribute them wearing gloves (in line with our COVID-19 risk assessment).
- Please bring a mask with you and wear it for arrival and entry to The Seagull Theatre, during break-time, for toilet visits and when you leave. (We will not wear masks whilst singing).
If you cannot wear a mask due to a health condition, please advise Stephen or Paul.
- No drinking water or hot drinks will be available at rehearsal – please bring your own bottle.
- Please bring your own pen or pencil if you wish to make notes on your lyric sheets.
- There will be eight chairs placed at ground level. If you have mobility issues and would like to reserve one of these, please contact Stephen or Paul.
- If you have booked a place and find that you are unable to attend, please make sure that you contact Stephen or Paul so that your place can be made available for somebody else.
ARRIVING AT CHOIR:
- Hand sanitising stations are placed at the entrance to the Seagull theatre – please use them upon arrival and after any visit to the toilets.
- In order to encourage a staggered arrival, the theatre will be open from 7pm before the session starts at 7:30pm (as per our pre-COVID rehearsals). You are welcome to come between 7pm and 7:30pm and you are welcome to chat to people (please wear face masks and observe 2-metre social distance).
- When entering the auditorium to take your seat, please be seated at whichever seat is available to sit on furthest away from the aisle (ie: please do not sit on seat#1 or seat#4 if seat#7 and seat#10 have not been taken as this will mean that people will have to pass you within the row unnecessarily).
- Please deposit donations into the payment tub on the table inside the auditorium of the theatre. Please deposit the amount you want to donate (no change can be taken or given).
- You may want to bring a coat or jumper along since we will have fire exits and doors open throughout the entire session.
WHILST AT CHOIR:
- You may only sit in a chair which is marked according to our seating plan which allows for distance of 1-metre width and 3-metre depth. Please do not move or re-position any chairs or stools which are not fixed inside the theatre.
- Singing may only happen whilst facing forward.
- We will remove masks whilst rehearsing. (If you feel safer wearing a mask or face covering throughout the whole session including whilst singing, please do so).
- Please try to avoid touching any shared surfaces. All chairs, door handles, toilets and touchpoints will be disinfected prior to and after rehearsal.
- The Seagull theatre will be kept well ventilated with rear fire doors remaining open throughout the session.
- Please keep any personal belongings (coat, handbags, etc) close to you – don’t spread them out over any unused empty chairs.
- To ensure that we keep as ventilated as we can, the sessions will comprise 2x 30-minutes of singing separated by a break-time.
- During the break, please wear a mask and observe social distancing of 2-metres.
- We will keep a register as part of the Track & Trace procedure for 21 days and then shred it. In addition to this, we are likely to take a photo at each session which will be used for us to determine the exact seating arrangements of all rehearsals.
- If you fall ill after attending a rehearsal, contact your GP to arrange to get tested for COVID and contact Stephen or Paul immediately.
- If NHS Track & Trace contact you and ask you to self-isolate, please advise Stephen or Paul immediately.
SUGGEST AN ADDITIONAL CONTROL MEASURE:
The Rogues Shanty Chorus are a very friendly group and human beings are instinctively tactile and sociable creatures – we are all sure to have a very steep learning curve as we try and remain mindful and respectful of these Control Measures.
These measures are not something intended to embarrass anybody if we should breach them. We won’t have an atmosphere of finger-pointing or whistle blowing if anybody accidentally forgets themselves momentarily and while getting accustomed to these procedures – we are likely to all need to encourage each other to build new habits.
However, in order to give confidence for people to return as well as to try and ensure the safety of all members, all attendees must be willing to comply with the measures above.
By booking a space and clicking SUBMIT, you confirm that you are willing to follow these steps.
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.
Stephen 07909 510976
Paul 07903 105930
FURTHER READING LINKS:
The Rogues Shanty Chorus COVID-19 Risk Assessment (we recommend you read this)
Local Coronavirus data HERE
Government guidance on local lockdowns HERE
DCMS Guidance document allowing choirs to restart HERE