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. The decision on what to do is one for your own team to make.
When they can’t practise in person, many teams have been using video conferencing software to keep in touch and run practices, and a few are experimenting with hybrid practices (i.e. some people in the hall, others online).
See all our Covid-19 pages:
Update on 6th February 2022
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.
The government recently removed the restrictions put in place under “Plan B”. Most of the changes relate to issues that do not affect morris and related activities, but the official guidance has been revised, removing some of the information that we have previously published. We have therefore published this update and also revised the pages on practices and performances.
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.
Before deciding how to practise or to perform, teams should make sure they understand how Covid-19 is transmitted, then agree what controls they are going to use to minimise the risk. We recommend that you read the latest guidance about how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus as most of it is relevant to morris and related activities. This will help you decide what you need to do to make sure your team is practising and/or performing safely. Please ask everyone in your team to read the guidance and to comply with it.
As about 1 in 3 people with Covid do not have symptoms. Regular testing helps reduce the risk of spreading it to other people. If you do not have symptoms, the government now recommends testing yourself before a period of high risk, for instance spending time in crowded or enclosed spaces, or with vulnerable people.
As dancing increases the risk of transmitting Covid, we recommend that all teams should ask their members to take a lateral flow test before attending a practice or performance, and only attend if it is negative. The general guidance on keeping safe gives more information on testing.
Face coverings are no longer required by law. However, the guidance still suggests that we should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where we may come into contact with other people we do not normally meet.
Please remember that the legal requirements about face coverings are the minimum standard we should meet. Although face coverings are not recommended during strenuous exercise, dancing does increase the risk of catching or passing on Covid. Please consider this when deciding how your team practices or performs.
Please note that face visors and shields are not face coverings, as they do not adequately cover the nose and mouth. They can be worn in addition to a face covering, but not instead of one.
Minimising the risk of transmitting Covid
As well as the issues covered above, the government’s guidance recommends these key steps to minimise the risk:
- get vaccinated, including the booster vaccine
- if you have symptoms, self-isolate and get a PCR test
- let fresh air in if meeting indoors (meeting outdoors is safer)
- use the NHS COVID-19 app
- limit close contact with other people
- wash your hands regularly, and cover coughs and sneezes.
This only applies to England. 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
- Face coverings
- Events and attractions
- Safer public places – managing public outdoor settings
- 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