Return to Singing
“We need to sing again” An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D.
In his speech announcing the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions on Friday last, the Taoiseach pointed to singing and acknowledged its loss to society during the pandemic, and the fact that it is something we, as social beings, need for a fulfilled life. Sing Ireland couldn’t agree more with his sentiment.
Sing Ireland welcomes this Government announcement (21st January 2022) and its easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland. We look forward with great anticipation to the certain reopening of the group singing sector across Ireland in the coming months. Whilst we have repeatedly seen an opening up and closing of Irish society in the past two years, this easing of restrictions sits against a backdrop of a highly vaccinated population and a variant that is showing a milder effect upon public health. Notwithstanding the potential that another variant may emerge that will require re-examination by health experts, this most recent announcement seems to be substantially different. It gives a clear pathway forward for singing to resume and to bring its joy, fulfillment, and life-enhancing ability to communities of all ages and backgrounds across Ireland.
Sing Ireland encourages choirs and singing groups to look at risk mitigation measures and make their own assessment of which risk measures they wish to take to keep their groups as safe as possible. Sing Ireland wishes to be clear that many of the risk mitigations are not mandated by the Government but that they are worth bearing in mind for each group given their particular circumstances.
Sing Ireland has had confirmation on the following points:
- Masks are not currently mandated for singing groups.
- Individuals traveling to rehearsals/performances on public transport are required to wear masks.
- People may decide to wear masks in areas where they are not strictly required and this is something to be respected.
- Social distancing is not mandated.
- Singing groups are not required to retain information for contact tracing.
- Covid pass requirement for access to hospitality and indoor activities will no longer apply.
- Restrictions on capacity for all indoor and outdoor events will no longer apply
We encourage groups to consider:
- Ventilation and risk mitigation
- If the virus is very active in your community/area you might take extra mitigation measures temporarily
The risk mitigations that might be considered by groups are set out in the Sing Ireland Risk Assessment Document HERE. These are recommendations based on the scientific evidence accumulated during the period of the pandemic but they are not mandated at present.
However, each group must decide about the level of risk they are comfortable with given the public health situation at the time of their rehearsals/performances. We know for many that they will be hesitant and cautious upon returning. We urge all groups to think about the comfort levels of all of their singers.
In Northern Ireland, the situation for singing groups, which was less restrictive than in the Republic of Ireland in the last months, remains unchanged. Find further information HERE.
Sing Ireland acknowledges the hardship that has been brought to the choral sector over the past two years, and particularly to the many musicians and artists whose livelihoods depend on the ability to rehearse and perform with singing groups. As with many areas of society, it will take a little time for the choral sector to re-establish itself fully but we know the nature of this thriving and life-affirming activity will see a fast and emotional resurgence that celebrates our shared humanity.
If you are looking for members we have a noticeboard that groups can advertise on. Email email@example.com with an advertisement.
Please see the detail of the latest Government guidance below and HERE
- If you experience symptoms of Covid-19 you should isolate and test for Covid-19. If you are a close contact follow the guidance on the HSE website.
- The best way to keep yourself safe is to ensure you are fully vaccinated and have your booster.
- Continue to wear masks in appropriate settings. Mask wearing will be required in the following settings:
- public transport, taxis and at stations/airports/ports
- retail premises (including shopping centres, libraries, cinemas, theatres, museums, post offices, banks), public offices and at premises providing specified services and businesses (incl. salons, hairdressers, travel agents, laundries, dry cleaners, bookmakers)
- customer facing roles in premises where food and beverages are sold for consumption on the premises
Individuals may still have concerns about themselves or their family members. They should continue to assess their individual situation. There are ways to reduce risk, especially for those who may be more vulnerable. For further guidance go to the Risk Aware site
On 8th February at 1 pm, following the lifting of many restrictions, Sing Ireland will host a webinar to assist singing groups and choirs planning their return. We’re providing an opportunity for our members and the sector to find out the latest about news and guidance, to get in touch with each other, to share learning and ideas, and to support one other.
More information and register HERE