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.
When the time feels right, it is wise to seek the views of the team before re-starting 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 on when to restart 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 30th March, revised 23rd April
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.
Step 1, 29th March: As expected, the next step in the government’s COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 took place on 29th March. We are now allowed to meet outside in groups of up to six people or in groups of any size from up to two households. This applies in both public and private outdoor spaces.
This means that morris practices can now take place outdoors with up to six people. People from different households must still socially distance. We have therefore updated the page on practices to show what you can do, and have revised the risk assessment template for practices.
Indoor practices are not yet allowed as households cannot mix inside. Performances are also not possible, as audiences are not permitted.
Step 2, 12th April: The next change, to Step 2, happened on 12th April as expected. None of the changes that came in were relevant to morris.
Step 3, no earlier than 17th May: up to 30 people will be allowed to meet outdoors, and up to six people or two households will be able to meet indoors. The government has said it will update its advice on social distancing by Step 3, so it is not yet known what will be required. But it appears that practices and, possibly, performances may be allowed outdoors with up to 30 people, and indoor practices with up to six.
Step 4, no earlier than 21st June: all legal limits on social contact should be removed, but there will still be guidance on how to reduce the risk of transmission.
The dates for Steps 3 and 4 are subject to review. They depend on an assessment of the data against the four tests set out in the Response document. If any step is delayed, then subsequent steps will be pushed back.
There has been some discussion on whether morris dancing should or could be classified as an organised team sport. During the pandemic, we have repeatedly reviewed how morris should be classified and have come to the same conclusion every time: the guidance for organised sports is not applicable to morris. The government guidance for the performing arts has always covered both professionals and non-professionals, and is the most suitable for morris and related activities. The updates and guidance published by MF are therefore primarily based on the general guidance for meeting people safely and the performing arts guidance.
This only applies to England. This guidance changes frequently; please check it regularly for updates.
- Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do
- Performing arts
- Face coverings
- Principles of safer singing
- 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):