Our attention has been drawn by a client to a venue that has introduced a track and trace approach for their event:
We have had some important information from our venue regarding COVID and keeping us all as safe as possible during the celebrations.
You MUST have actioned the below before attending our event:
- be Double Vaccinated for over two weeks before our event date OR taken a PCR or Lateral Flow that is Negative.
- Log your response via the link below 24 hours before the day and tick the declaration
- You will receive a pass to your phone that you will need to show to enter the venue.
TRUSTED TRACE APP ‘COVID PASSES’ FOR ALL GUESTS DAY/EVENING & CONTRACTORS
The Trusted Trace App is being used by many venues around the UK and provides an easy and simple request form for everyone to complete.
The Trusted Trace app will provide Guest with a ‘Pass’ on their phone 24 hrs before the event, and additionally we will take temperatures and hand sanitise before entering the building.
The Burdocks have successfully completed a few events since July 19 and our experience shows that guests are not bothered about precautions (with absolutely no one wearing a mask during the dancing).
However, guests had been asked to ‘stay away’ unless double vaccinated and/or had a negative lateral flow test, so the app approach does ‘tighten up’ efforts to ensure everyone stays safe.
End of bulletin.
Covid-19 is here to stay in some form or other and we will need to get used to finding safe ways of dancing at least for the foreseeable future. There is no one ‘silver bullet’ answer; the most effective approach will be a combination of precautions that are simple to implement. Here is a list of the obvious ones, not in any particular order:
- social distancing 2m apart
- lateral flow testing before the event
- provide gloves to dancers
- hand sanitiser used by all dancers (except gloved)
- participants wear masks for the duration of the dance
- participants dance in their own family/friend bubbles
- dance al fresco
Unless you want a line dancing class, social distancing 2m apart is not a realistic option for ceilidh/barn dancing, so we can eliminate it from the list.
Ask your guests
The first step could be to send out a Google form or Doodle poll (or other survey format) to see what your guests think about dancing at your event, and on what terms they would be happy to do so. That way you should be able to mix n match solutions that keep everyone happy and safe. For example, those guests who are double-jabbed may feel happy to dance without masks. Here’s a sample form to stimulate ideas for your own questionnaire.
One idea is to provide guests with masks to dance in. But, will guests wear masks during the dancing? We’d say, ask them to give it a go!
Rather than a reactive approach, what could we do if we were to be proactive?
Masquerade! In other words, make the mask-wearing part of their dance experience like a masked ball. Hats and masks give permission to act the fool; people love it, in a similar way to the photo booth concept.
The FFP3 Mask
If you want to guarantee no spread of the virus, then the FFP3 repirator is the mask to have, according to a small study undertaken by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. These cost from £4.50 each, which is quite an outlay for what is a disposable item. You can read the study here: Masks upgrade cuts infection risk
Two masks is better than one
Another idea is to use a decorative/fun mask over a respirator, which opens up the opportunities to be very safe yet also creative. Here’s an article on this: Are two face masks better than one?
Design your own masks
It may be possible to design your own masks: Vistaprint offer a mask design service.
Dancing in bubbles
One idea is to create bubbles of friends and family, who sit together at the same table for dining, and likewise dance together as a self-contained unit, socially spaced from other bubbles. This has proven to work well outside when there are no constraints on space.
Dancing al fresco
If the band can be located somewhere under cover, and the ground is suitable, then there’s every possibility that we could dance in the grounds of the venue. If disturbing neighbours is an issue, then we could upgrade the band to a silent dance – fun, albeit surreal!
Accommodating the band
Assuming there is sufficient space, band members can socially distance themselves in a line from each other; masks can then be removed when seated and playing.
Virtual bands are also an option and have proved popular during the most recent lockdown.
In summary, unfortunately there’s no ideal approach, although a combination of precautions can make us all safe to dance. We are very used to wearing masks and applying hand sanitiser, and they have proven to be very effective.
Of course there is one other possibility not yet considered in this article: throw caution to the wind and just dance together with no safeguards and accept that there’s a moderate risk of catching a mild (for most) strain of Covid. Decision time.