A candid chat about the NHS COVID Pass at choir…

Posted On:  July 25, 2021

We have made the NHS COVID Pass a mandatory part of getting back to Sing Now Choir rehearsals and here’s why…

Let’s start by explaining that at Sing Now, we have a simple ethos: Singing is for everyone. To wholeheartedly stick to our ethos, we follow these 3 core beliefs: Positivity, inclusivity and no judgement. So, when we started planning our return, the thought of excluding people from our rehearsals didn’t sit well with us. However, we aren’t living in ‘normal times’ at the moment and so the NHS COVID Pass allows us to stick to our ethos of being open to everyone, but increases the safety immensely.

It’s not all about vaccinations.

It’s not our place to know anything about our member’s medical records or the private choices they make. The app doesn’t display whether a person has had a vaccination, a negative test or a positive PCR test. At the time of writing this, the NHS COVID Pass simply tells us that an individual’s ‘COVID-19 status’ is sufficient and, in turn, increases the safety of the people around them. No vaccine? Simply take a negative test before attending.

  • For the safety of our singers & team members:

We love singing and we love our members. We sent a survey out to them and listened to them; over 80% felt comfortable returning to choir with some COVID-19 mitigations in place. We’ve seen the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on so many people and families across the world, we want to reduce the risk as much as we can. We don’t want to get all cheesy on you, but, our members build communities that are like family units and they care about each other!

  • For our industry and community:

The music industry, especially the choir world, has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. We want to reduce the risk of an outbreak linked to our choir rehearsals, not only for the health of everybody in the communities we operate within, but also so that community choirs can recover fully and regain the trust of our peers across the arts.

  • For our business:

To continue on from March 2020 when we hit the pause button, we need to operate with some consistency now. We want to pick up that momentum that we were building and continue to grow and welcome new members across our groups. So, to avoid disruption to our rehearsal schedule from ‘pings’ or phone calls from NHS Test & Trace, we will only run rehearsals once we’ve checked everybody’s COVID-19 status.

  • High risk setting:

While social distancing is effective in normal social interactions, singing can produce a substantially larger number of respiratory droplets and aerosols than speaking, as it is louder and sustained for longer durations. The Government is advising that organisations that operate large, crowded settings, where people are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of those from other households, use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry.

Out of all the mitigations that we’re putting in place at Sing Now Choir over the coming weeks, the NHS COVID Pass, is one that will reassure our members the most. When they are sitting in the rehearsal room, they will know that everybody sharing the space is either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or has recently tested negative.

Reference links:

  1. The Sing Now Choir COVID-19 Ramp-up Plan >>
  2. NHS COVID Pass information (NHS website) >>
  3. BBC News article on the NHS COVID Pass >>
  4. Oxford University report into Droplets and Aerosols Generated by Singing >>