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Choirs: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 5252, tabled on 21 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the clinical evidence was for the decision to lift the covid-19 social distancing restrictions on choral singing groups from 17 May 2021.

Answered on

7 June 2021

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. As set out in the roadmap, we hope to remove all legal limits on social contact at step 4. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.