skip to main content

Health and Safety for Recording Sessions during Covid-19

Working safely during Covid-19 in professional workplaces for music recording, productions and music video production.

Last updated: 11 October 2021

The joint guidance for Working Safely during Covid-19 produced by the MU, AIM, BPI and MPG includes all the key information on working safely in a studio environment and is being regularly updated.

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.

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.

Here are some key points you may wish to consider when working or being engaged to work in a studio.

Health & Safety Risk Assessment that includes the risk of Covid-19

Venues should complete a risk assessment, considering the measures set out in the joint guidance on working safely during Covid-19. They should also consider reasonable adjustments needed for musicians with disabilities. The risk assessment should be shared with musicians and kept up to date.

A copy of the risk assessment relating to the proposed recording session can be requested by you in advance, giving you enough time to read and understand it, and be comfortable that the level of risk of Covid-19 infection has been sufficiently minimised.

Adequate ventilation

Will there be a supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present? This can be natural ventilation through opening windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. The venue should identify any poorly ventilated spaces in their premises and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.

Hygiene and cleaning

You may wish to request information about the cleaning regime in place at the studio, to help prevent the potential spread of Covid-19 from contact with surfaces and equipment. The Government have provided guidance on the level of workplace cleanliness required to minimise the potential risk of infection.

You should clean your hands on arrival at the studio, either with hand sanitiser or soap and water depending on what has been provided for you, and try to clean them as regularly as arrangements will allow during the day. It is advisable to bring your own hand sanitiser with you in order to ensure schedules are not unduly disrupted.

Music instruments should be cleaned regularly using your usual cleaning method and should not be shared with anyone else where possible.

Where you are required to share a music stand, only one player on the desk should turn pages and do any required mark-up.

Checking in at the venue

Venues are no longer legally required to collect customer contact details, but doing so will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to Covid-19 so that they can book a test. They can enable people to check in to the venue by displaying an NHS QR code poster. However, they do not have to ask people to check in or turn people away if they refuse. If they choose to display a QR code, they should also have a system in place to record contact details for people who want to check in, but do not have the app. Musicians are encouraged to check in where venues have these systems in place.

Face coverings

Face coverings are no longer required by law in England. However, the government expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded, enclosed spaces. Where worn correctly, this may reduce the risk of transmission to themselves and others. Many venues in England will still choose to make it a requirement to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others, or moving around the venue. Please note that face coverings are still a requirement by law in indoor public places in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Covid-19 symptoms

You should follow the NHS guidance on when to self-isolate and what to do, if you or a close contact has had a positive Covid-19 result, or if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. If you are self-isolating, the Government advice is not to go to work.

Social distancing

Social distancing guidance no longer applies and there are no limits on social contact between people from different households. However, Covid-19 can still be spread through social contact. A venue can mitigate this risk by reducing the number of people you come into contact with.

The joint guidance provides full detail, but some examples of mitigating risk in relation to social distancing may include:

  • Setting maximum capacities for studios and workspaces.
  • Changes to the studio layout.
  • Social distancing between workstations.

NHS COVID Pass

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination records, or test Covid-19 status in a secure way. Use of the NHS COVID Pass is voluntary for individual organisations, and the Government has no plans to encourage employers to use the NHS COVID Pass with employees or freelance workers.

Read further Government guidance on using the NHS COVID Pass.

The MU do not support employer systems where you are required to prove your vaccination status in order to be engaged for or carry out work, and protected characteristics should not be discriminated against.

Everyone has a right to work in an environment where they feel safe. If, having read the above, you do not feel safe to undertake the recording session, or you have any questions, please contact our Recording & Broadcasting department to discuss your concerns by emailing rb@theMU.org or calling 0207 840 5559

Member benefits and services

Latest news and features

Photograph of MU Executive Committee Member Diljeet Bhachu, speaking into a microphone.

Looking Back, Moving Forward: MU Member Diljeet Bhachu’s Opening Speech to the STUC Black Workers’ Conference

This year’s STUC Black Workers’ Conference was chaired by MU Executive Committee member Diljeet Bhachu, who reflected on how challenging the previous 18-months have been for Black workers across Scotland, and the importance of solidarity across the Trade Union movement.

Published: 04 October 2021

Read more about Looking Back, Moving Forward: MU Member Diljeet Bhachu’s Opening Speech to the STUC Black Workers’ Conference
Photograph of a person with red hair, wearing a pink mask and pink earphones in front of a pink background.

US Lifts Covid-19 Travel Ban

The MU has recently learnt via their friends at Tamizdat that the White House will be easing Covid-19 travel restrictions to the US.

Published: 24 September 2021

Read more about US Lifts Covid-19 Travel Ban