On Friday 3 December, New Zealand moved out of the Covid-19 Alert Levels and into the new 3-level ‘traffic light’ COVID-19 Protection Framework.
All of New Zealand is currently in RED. Read on below for the rules applying to rehearsals and concerts in the RED traffic light setting setting.
Choir rehearsals and performances fall under the government’s Events Guidelines. Read on for our own NZCF guidelines under the ‘traffic light’ system.
The New Zealand Choral Federation continues to take an active role in providing guidance to choirs as they plan and carry out rehearsals and performances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acknowledging the risks associated with group singing
We know that singing increases the transmission of aerosols and therefore increases the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 to others. For that reason, we advocate that choirs go beyond the Ministry of Health and MBIE guidelines to consider the demographics of their group alongside the risks involved to develop practices that will mitigate risks to their singers and audiences.
Safety above all else
By its very nature choral singing is a collective pursuit, which means acting in service of ‘the whole’ is an essential component of belonging to a choir. We commend choirs for their innovative and rapid responses to date, which have put the safety and wellbeing of our singers, families, volunteers, and patrons above all else.
NZCF stands firmly behind vaccination as the best means currently available for protecting the health of our community and the wider performing arts. We support public health education efforts that offer accurate information about vaccine efficacy and safety. We strongly recommend that all choral conductors, choral singers and accompanists collaborative who are eligible to receive a vaccine follow Ministry of Health guidance and become fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
In addition to all singers being fully vaccinated, we continue to recommend the following precautions:
What does the ‘traffic light’ system mean for choir rehearsals or concerts?
Choral activities fall under the Events and gatherings guidelines. The rules for events and gatherings are largely the same, but government advice states:
Events involve ticketing, registration or another way to control access. They can be held either at a commercial or private venue. [Concerts are events]
Gatherings may be open to the public but do not require tickets or registration. Gatherings include voluntary or not-for-profit sporting, recreational, social, or cultural activities, community club activities, faith-based gatherings, funerals or tangihanga, and weddings (as well as gatherings at someone’s home). [Rehearsals are gatherings]