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Health and Safety for Live Performance Venues

A basic guide to what should be done in buildings or areas you are asked to work in during the Covid-19 pandemic

Please note that lockdowns across the UK mean that in many places, performances in front of a live audience are not able to take place. See our latest guidance on the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

These guidelines can apply to Musicians, engagers, venue owners and contractors. Please not that this is not an exclusive list. For more detail, please read our more detailed guidance on what should included in a Risk Assessment (RA) of a live venue.

The decision about returning to the workplace or performing in public is one that only you can take. You must make sure that you take adequate steps to review any relevant guidance and come to a sensible decision based on your own enquiries.

It is a venue’s responsibility to perform a Risk Assessment, but there are also some personal safety measures that you should be taking into consideration.

The MU’s advice is for general guidance only and does not represent any instruction, encouragement or advice to return to or begin work. The MU can accept no liability for the consequences of your decision including any illness or other adverse impact.

Workplace measures

Workplaces need to have:

  • A COVID-19 risk assessment with an action plan to deal with all identified hazards. If no risk assessment has been carried out contact your Regional Office for advice. You should be able to see the RA.
  • Clear signage throughout your workplace to encourage at least two-metre social distancing. Areas should be marked using tape to clearly identify two-metre rules to encourage social distancing. There will need to be internal pedestrian one-way systems for any aisles less than two-metres, with agreed flow.
  • Full cleaning of all touch points at least once a day and more regularly where required. Daily cleaning of all other areas. Full facilities for personal cleaning with instructions (incl. visual aids) on use and waste disposal facilities.
  • Provision of handwashing facilities and sanitisers, particularly at entrances and exits.
  • Provision of adequate facilities (e.g. toilets, changing areas, rest areas)
  • A limit on chair numbers in refreshment and rest areas to maintain two-metre distance control.
  • Risk Assessments on any air extraction or air conditioning which is in use. Such extraction and conditioning systems are better, in most cases, than no ventilation system at all. Open air is better still.
  • Where limited catering facilities are provided, wrapped food, and only disposable cutlery and cups provided.
  • Rooms which are labelled to identify the maximum number of people inside to respect social distancing requirements.
  •  The number of meeting rooms/spaces available minimised wherever possible.
  •  An isolation area where those showing symptoms or feeling unwell can wait until they are able to leave.
  • Staggered start and finish times to reduce contact at work and whilst travelling to and from work.
  • Controlled and limited access for people visiting or delivering to your place of work.
  • Management of deliveries to minimise contact with other people whilst loading and unloading. Access for visitors/deliverers to handwashing facilities should be provided.

Travelling to your workplace

At present, the risk of contracting Covid 19 on public transport is still high. Despite the calls not to use public transport, many have no alternative. To reduce risk, seek working times that allow you to travel outside of peak time on the routes you use.

If taxis are chosen, those recommended are black type cabs that have a screen between driver and passengers and the passenger area can be cleaned easily.

If you have any additional concerns arise, check with your engager what action has been taken to deal with them.