The NI COVID regulations can be found here:
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations
Current government guidance can be found here:
Your Guide to the COVID-19 Restrictions
Please note that this document is dated 6th May and currently does not reflect regulations as they stand.
Updated Covid Restrictions in NI
(06 Jan 2022)
The Brass Band League has reviewed the recent updates to local Coronavirus Regulations and Guidance by the Northern Ireland Executive, particularly with regards to the new official guidance of 1m social distancing.
We have now updated our risk assessment template to reflect the official guidance however we would ask bands to consider that Northern Ireland currently has, by far, the highest rate of COVID infections per capita when compared with England, Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland.
It is therefore highly recommended that:
- Bands maintain distancing beyond 1m where practical to do so.
- Risk assessments should continue to be completed, irrespective of the numbers of people in attendance. These should also be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
- A record of attendance at each rehearsal be retained for 28 days.
- Face coverings be worn by members when not in their seats.
- Forehead temperature of members is checked at the point of entry.
- Hand sanitiser be used at the point of entry and exit.
- No equipment (e.g. stands, music, chairs, percussion, mutes) should be shared.
- Each member uses a towel to collect any “water” from their instruments and towels are laundered between rehearsals.
- Bands hold rehearsals outdoors where feasible.
- For indoor rehearsals, windows and doors should be opened and enhanced ventilation systems be considered, where feasible.
- Bands consider the use of screens and/or bell covers.
- Consider the case for rehearsing (or not) given the wider health context of your area. Have particular regard for vulnerable members and reinforce that attendance is voluntary.
- It is strongly recommended that people undertake a lateral flow test prior participating in any gathering (e.g. band rehearsal).
Please remember that the closer people sit the higher the risk of transmission. The level of risk also increases if there are little or no mitigation measures in place.
The highest risk is using an indoor, crowded, poorly ventilated space for a long period of time.
Please also note: these recommendations are subject to change based on any updated government advice. When any updated advice is received we will update our information as soon as possible.
As ever, please get in touch if your band has any queries and we will do our best to get you an answer.
Brass Band League NI would also like to thank Brass Bands England for allowing us to make use of their extensive resources and guidance.
The following documents are templates for risk assessments which bands are free to use as a basis for creating their own risk assessments.
Risk Assessment 1 – Up to 15 Outside
Risk Assessment 2 – Up to 15 Inside
This risk assessment template has been superseded by Risk Assessment 4 below.
Risk Assessment 3 – More than 15 Outside
Risk Assessment 4 – Inside
The BBL recommends that this risk assessment template should be used for all indoor rehearsals, no matter the size of the group.
Health protection coronavirus restrictions regulations
Arts Council NI | In the Bubble of our Making : Re-Opening the Arts in Northern Ireland
Following the Science: A systematic literature review of studies surrounding singing and brass, woodwind and bagpipe playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investigation into the Release of Respiratory Aerosols by Brass Instruments and Mitigation Measures with Respect to Covid-19