Government announces new singing restrictions

The Government announced that singing must be restricted to groups of no more than six

On Monday 17 May 2021, Covid-19 restriction were eased as anticipated and eagerly awaited. The Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) did not publish detailed advice for performing arts organisations until the following day, Tuesday 18 May 2021. The advice confirmed previous announcements and included the fact that amateur instrumental groups may meet to rehearse as expected, which was great news.

Unfortunately, a new piece of advice was included - that choirs may NOT meet to rehearse, except in groups of 6. This exception had not been announced or even hinted at previously, and came as a devastating blow to choirs up and down the country, many of which had worked hard to prepare to re-commence small-group (up to 30) rehearsals from Monday 17th May 2021.

'This new restriction makes little sense' said Classical Sheffield Chair Jo Towler, 'because last year choirs were allowed to rehearse in groups of up to 30, at a time when the incidence of Covid-19 was high and the number of people who'd been vaccinated was very low. What's more, rehearsals went on across the country and did not result in any upsurge in case numbers among choir members.'

Although the advice is not legally binding, Making Music emphasises that choirs would almost certainly find their insurance invalidated were they to ignore it, ie, by singing in groups of more than 6. For more information see their website:

For the most updated guidance from DCMS regarding rehearsals and performances, you can go directly to their website HERE.

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