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Date: Wednesday, 26th August 2020
Contributor: Paul Brown - HQ

Coronavirus Guidance News - Update on re-opening performing arts for musicians


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The RSPBA would like to thank all the members based in Scotland who contacted their MSP asking them to support Stuart McMillan MSP and his request for guidance for the re-opening of the performing arts for amateur and professional musicians. A precis of the key notes within the response received from the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture is available below.

On 21st August, the Scottish Government published updated guidance for the Performing Arts and Venues Sector

The Scottish Government recognises the important role that all forms of musical activity play in the wellbeing and mental health of so many people across the country, and the pleasure that it brings. It is committed to doing everything it can to ensure our world-class culture sector can continue to thrive and to help it navigate these difficult times.

Amateur music organisations, and the talented individuals who work with them, are an essential part of the fabric of Scotland's culture and communities and promote our international reputation, and the Scottish Government is determined that they will survive and be able to thrive again.

Sector-led guidance for the Performing Arts and Venues in Scotland is in preparation. It will include music performance for both professionals and non-professionals, and will look at rehearsals, pre-production and performance (with and without a live audience). It will be overarching in nature; as each organisation or workplace is different, it is for individual organisations and practitioners to work with trade union, workforce or volunteer representatives to determine how best to apply any guidance in their particular circumstances. Because of the particular concerns relating to aerosol transmission, a cautious approach to the playing of wind and brass instruments, including bagpipes, is required and this will be reflected in the guidance. Research into this transmission risk is ongoing and will continue to inform decisions and guidance.

The Performing Arts and Venues guidance is scheduled for publication soon and will be accessible at the following link: It will be reviewed and updated regularly. It is important that we continue to prioritise safety and suppressing the virus, and our guidance draws the attention of non-professionals to the current social gathering guidelines.

You may be interested to read the recent SAGE paper on singing and musical instruments, acknowledging the need for further research which, is underway

The Scottish Government's commitment to our world-class culture sector remains strong as they continue to support the sector at this very challenging time.

P Brown


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