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NZCF guidelines for choirs at Alert Levels 2 & 3

 

Auckland and parts of Waikato are currently at Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2. These levels will be reviewed by the Government on Monday 1 November.

 

At Alert Level 3, choirs may not rehearse in person. You are required to stay in your bubble and gatherings are not permitted.

The rules for Alert Level 2 are now different, since the Delta variant of Covid-19 is more highly contagious. At Alert Level 2, as of 22 September, choirs of up to 100 members may rehearse, but scanning in at rehearsals is now mandatory, face coverings are encouraged and singers should space out by 1-2 metres.

The 100-person maximum applies per each defined, separated area within a venue, as long as intermingling in common spaces can be prevented. Therefore, a larger choir could potentially conduct sectional rehearsals simultaneously at the same venue if they are in self-contained, separated areas.

School groups are subject to the Ministry of Education guidelines.

Please note: We at NZCF are not health or legal professionals. Please do not consider this medical or legal advice. These guidelines are based on NZ Ministry of Health guidelines and advice we have received from Professor Michael Baker. We will update this page as and when the government guidelines change.

Alert Level 3 – choirs may not meet to rehearse in person.

Alert Level 2 – all the guidelines below apply.

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Stay home if you are at all unwell

Choir management should reserve the right to turn away a singer displaying signs of being unwell.

Singers may consider carrying out their own temperature checks before attending rehearsals.

 

Contact tracing

It is now mandatory to have a QR code at rehearsals so that attendees can scan in. You can either use the venue QR code, or create your own QR poster.

In addition, ensure that attendance registers are accurately recorded and contact lists are kept up to date. Taking a photo at rehearsals may be an additional means of recording attendance.

 

Wear a mask

Face coverings can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They prevent aerosols from spreading when we sing. This includes someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms. Wearing a face covering is not a legal requirement (see the Ministry of Health advice on Private social gatherings (including book clubs, musical or cultural groups or hobby groups) and Worship and faith-based gatherings). However, we do encourage the use of masks, both for your own protection and to protect others in your choir who may be vulnerable or unvaccinated.

 

Physical distancing

Space out at rehearsals: 1-2 metres between singers, both side to side and front to back. The conductor should stand as far back from the choir as practicable. Don’t sing in a circle formation – all the singers should face forward.

 

Ventilation in rehearsal rooms

Ensure adequate ventilation, with a minimum room temperature of 18°C.

 

Wash/sanitise hands

Ensure there is access to hand washing/hand sanitiser at the door to the rehearsal room and in the bathrooms. Also consider cleaning/sanitising piano keyboards and other equipment and surfaces after use.

 

Coughs & sneezes 

Sneeze and cough into your elbow – this is good practice no matter the bug.

 

Snacks & drinks

You may wish to limit the sharing of snacks and drinks at rehearsals.

 

Attendance

Choirs may consider recording rehearsals for those who cannot attend. This will encourage members to exercise greater caution and to stay at home if remotely unwell.

Remember that members of your choir will have different reactions and levels of anxiety with the return to Alert Level 2. Some may not feel comfortable coming to rehearsals and may prefer to wait until Level 1. Some may be comfortable wearing a mask, while others may not. Please be flexible and please be kind.

 

Performances at Level 2
100-person gatherings (counting the choir + audience) are now permitted. Under Alert Level 2, we advocate the following:

  • 1-2 metre spacing for singers and audience members
  • Face coverings for audience members

For more information and advice for NZ choirs in the Covid-19 Delta environment, watch the video below, recorded on 2 September 2021. Click here for information on masks for singers.

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