Rules on singing for groups updated
By Rachel Lawler
The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak' to reflect new rules on singing at parent and child groups.
Parent and child groups were permitted to reopen from 12 April with up to 15 attendees (not including children under five), with the previous restriction that only children and group leaders were able to sing. This has now been updated to say that a maximum of six adults, including the group leader, may sing at each session when taking place indoors.
Only the one group of six adults may sing at each session and "good ventilation" should be maintained throughout.
Groups that take place outdoors must follow the same rules if they are organised as one big group. If the group is organised into smaller groups, they may have several groups of up to six adults singing in each session, although the same groups must be maintained throughout the session.
The new guidance says:
"Group singing can take place, where it is necessary for the group to meet. Taking account of the evidence about singing and COVID-19, singing is considered safer when limited numbers of people sing together.
From 12 April 2021, where the singing is to take place outdoors and:
- organised as one group - no more than six adults, including the group leader, should sing at any one time along with the children aged under five
- the group is broken up into smaller groups of no more than six adults - the adults can sing together in each group along with the children aged under five and the same groups should be maintained for the duration of the session
Where singing is to take place indoors, no more than six adults in the room, including the group leader, should sing and singing should be limited to the same six adults for the duration of the group session. Good ventilation with fresh air should be maintained throughout the session."
The rationale given for these limits in the guidance is that "taking account of the evidence about singing and COVID-19, singing is considered safer when limited numbers of people sing together".
The DfE has also updated its guidance on face coverings to make it clear that those who rely on visual signals for communication ae exempt from any requirement to wear a mask.
The latest guidance says: "The use of face coverings may have a particular impact on those who rely on visual signals for communication. Those who rely on visual signals for communication, or communicate with or provide support to such individuals, are currently exempt from any requirement to wear face coverings in settings or in public places."