This page has been compiled by Sally Wearing, the Morris Federation’s Health & Safety Advisor. Please bear in mind that it can take a few days between new guidance emerging and Sally reading it all and writing a summary.
These pages try to help with two main questions from teams: 1) how can we make it safe for everyone at a practice or a performance and still keep within the government’s guidance, and 2) are we covered by our Public Liability Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance? Please note: Not following the guidance in place at the time could invalidate your insurance and/or bring the morris into disrepute.
It is wise to seek the views of the team about whether and how you meet for in-person practices or performances. Some may have vulnerable relatives at home, or underlying health conditions of their own, and may be unwilling to participate. Ultimately the decision what you do is one for your own team to make.
In the meantime, many teams are using video conferencing software to keep in touch, run practices and even having dance-outs at home with other teams.
See all our Covid-19 pages:
Update on 20th July
This only applies to England. If you would like advice for other parts of the UK, please contact Sally Wearing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have now moved to Step 4 of the Roadmap. The government has lifted most of the restrictions, but we still need to be careful and act cautiously. The data show that we are still in the third wave of the pandemic, with the number of cases rising steeply.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread Covid-19. The main way it is spread is through close contact with an infected person; they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus when they breath, speak, cough or sneeze. These can be breathed in by other people or can land on surfaces and be passed on by touch. In general, the risk of catching or passing on Covid-19 is higher in crowded spaces and in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air.
Some activities increase the risk of catching or passing on Covid, because people generate more particles when they breath heavily. This includes dancing, singing and shouting.
Minimising risk of transmitting Covid
You are still required by law to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 symptoms or if you test positive or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Most of the other restrictions, including the limits on how many people we can meet and the need to socially distance, are no longer legal requirements. But the government has published new guidance on what we can and cannot do, and is recommending these key steps to minimise the risk:
- get vaccinated and use the NHS Covid-19 app
- meet outdoors or, if indoors, improve the ventilation by letting fresh air in
- limit the close contact that you have with people you do not live with
- get tested twice a week even if you don’t have symptoms
- wear a face covering in crowded places
- stay at home if unwell
- practise good personal hygiene, including:
- washing or sanitising your hands regularly (e.g. after coughing/sneezing/blowing your nose, before and after eating or handling food, after touching surfaces touched by others, when using shared areas such as kitchens and toilets)
- avoiding touching your eyes/nose/mouth
- covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, then disposing of tissues into a rubbish bag and washing your hands.
These are all relevant to morris and related activities. Before deciding how to practise or to perform, teams should make sure they understand how Covid-19 is transmitted and agree what controls they are going to have in place to minimise the risk.
This is no longer relevant, as guidance for the performing arts has been withdrawn and the guidance for sports is similar to the basic guidance for everyone about what we can or cannot do.
This only applies to England. Most of the guidance (including for the performing arts and singing) has been withdrawn, but the following guidance is relevant to morris and related activities. This guidance changes frequently; please check it regularly for updates.
- Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do
- Events and attractions
- Face coverings (at the time of writing, this had not yet been updated)
- Guidance for parents and carers of children attend out of school settings
If anyone needs advice for other areas, please contact Sally Wearing at email@example.com
Letters to/from DCMS
Here is the correspondence between the JMO and the government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS):