Covid-19 Policies and Procedures – update July 2021

Update on COVID procedures

As you know, all of the legally binding restrictions on our rehearsals and events have been withdrawn. However, we must exercise caution in view of the rapidly rising number of COVID cases, particularly in our region. The Trustees believe that abandoning our precautions now would leave many members feeling unable to attend our events. The Cobweb core ethos is inclusivity, and we are proud of the spirit of community and togetherness that pervades all we do.

So, for the time being, most of our current precautions will remain in place. Some specific processes and measures may be modified slightly at the discretion of event organising teams, but always erring on the side of caution. Full details are below. Please read this carefully, and we hope you will continue to enjoy playing together while feeling safe.

Michael Cave
On behalf of Cobweb Orchestra Trustees
22 July 2021


Cobweb Orchestra: COVID procedures in step 4

Event planning: weekly rehearsals and open events should still be managed by a team comprising a participant manager, venue liaison officer and COVID monitor. The “Cobweb event checklist” spreadsheet has been revised to show the responsibilities of each team member. This should be used to plan an open event, or to restart weekly rehearsal groups that have not already restarted. The team now has some discretion regarding certain procedures that were previously mandatory, based on local circumstances. For weekly rehearsals, teams are expected to consult their members regarding these procedures, and, if there is doubt, they should err on the side of caution. Nominated Trustees continue to oversee plans for weekly rehearsals.

Social distancing: all attendees have an absolute right to maintain 2m social distancing. This must be respected by all other attendees. Event planners must therefore continue to calculate the maximum capacity, based on 2m distancing, for each venue, and limit the number of attendees accordingly. It is expected that, in general, players will still sit 2m apart as we have done up to now.
However, if two or more players wish and agree to sit closer together, eg to form a “desk” in the string section, this is acceptable as it does not adversely affect other players.

Attendance register: the participant manager will continue to keep a register of attendees for test and trace purposes (this may change on August 16). In general, for weekly rehearsals, the need for players to book in advance of attending is no longer mandatory. The exception to this is where the number of attendees could be close to, or more than, the calculated capacity. In these circumstances, pre-registration is needed and the team will decide how this is managed. Open events require pre-registration with Lorna, as before.

Seating plan and named seats: this is still recommended but only obligatory when the number of attendees is close to capacity. The organising team has discretion to plan a system suitable to local needs. This will usually include a member of the team arriving early to set out seats in advance.

Ventilation and breaks: the current procedure mandates cycles of 45 minutes playing followed by 15 minute breaks, during which the room is emptied and doors and windows are opened. This remains the recommended procedure, and must be applied when the attendance is close to capacity. However, organising teams may adjust this routine depending on individual circumstances, such as venue size, the number of players present and the feasibility of leaving doors and windows open while playing. During ventilation breaks players should leave the room, but may stay indoors if there is adequate space elsewhere in the venue.

Masks: all members are very strongly urged to wear a mask while indoors except when playing. This is not mandatory, but it provides extra protection to those around you, and so is very much in keeping with the Cobweb community spirit.

Shared surfaces: the risk of spreading the virus by this method is very low. Sheet music provided by the music leaders or from the music library may be used. Electronic payment of subscriptions is still best, but cash payments are acceptable. However, good hand hygiene while sharing surfaces is essential. Players should still bring their own refreshments rather than sharing kitchen facilities.

Posted by Lorna Wright