Besides opening the door for the return of indoor performances, on August 14th the UK government also updated the guidance for the performing arts in England to reflect new Public Health England research into transmission risks from singing, wind and brass performance. The research itself was approved after an intense campaign from the industry, that called for the corroboration through science of the assumption that brass and wind instruments were huge risk factors for the transmission of the COVID-19. Studies found that there is little difference between singing and speaking at the same volume when it comes to aerosol production, and that the ‘droplet effect’ from wind and brass is not as big as originally thought. Experts did agree on risk appearing through accumulation, meaning that a long performance in a poorly ventilated area would likely become a source of infection, but if the appropriate safety measures are ensured, said risk can be minimized.
We welcome these news and hope they give a boost to all our brass and wind interpreters, who have had a very hard time these past months. May we meet on stages again soon!