Whilst the association endeavours to help its members to understand current covid information, as published by the government, members are advised that the association’s interpretations are for guidance only and not a recommendation. It is up to each member to make their own decisions based on the official published government advice.
PLAN B AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR TANGO
The arrival of the Omicron Covid 19 variant has resulted in new legal requirements being imposed.
To support our tier 1 members, we have updated the guidance from July 19thand highlighted what is now legally required as well as “Guidance”, ie where the Government has stated that businesses/organisations “should” do something (note this means that business and organisations cannot just ignore the guideline). We’ve also included suggestions of good practices and ideas you may also want to implement.
As event organisers we are responsibility for our events.
Please note this is our interpretation of the requirements as of 13 December 2021.
THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
- FACE COVERINGS
It seems that our tango dance classes and events are exempt for the need to wear face coverings.
“The following categories are exempt for the requirement to wear face coverings.
- Gyms & exercise facilities
- Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques”
Dance classes have been included within Gyms & exercise facilities.
We assume milongas fall under dance halls.
NOTE: Face coverings are mandated in community halls so if you run classes/events in a community facility, masks may be required in communal areas. Please check with your venue.
- COVID PASSES
From 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated (currently a full course of vaccination without the need for a booster, but this will be kept under review), have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or that they have an exemption. This means that those aged 18 years or over must show their NHS COVID Pass, or an alternative proof of a negative test result, such as an NHS Test and Trace email or text proof, to gain entry into these venues.
To strengthen the protection testing provides you are strongly advised to take tests as late as possible before attending the event, ideally within 12 hours.
The use of the NHS COVID Pass is required as a condition of entry into the following places:
- nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques
We suggest members read the full information on the .Gov website in deciding what should apply to them. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19
The following is taken directly from the government website
You should carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. The Government’s working safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:
- identifying poorly ventilated areas in the venue, for example by using a CO2 monitor, and taking steps to improve air flow in these areas
- ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
- providing hand sanitiser to enable staff and customers to clean their hands more frequently, and cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly
- communicating to co-workers and customers the measures you have put in place
You are also encouraged to continue displaying NHS QR codes for attendees wishing to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app so they are alerted if there’s an outbreak and can take action to protect others.
CARRYING OUT COVID-19 STATUS CHECKS ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS
You should consider using the NHS COVID Pass if you operate a venue or event where individuals are likely to stand or move around or where individuals are in close contact, even if you are not legally obliged to.
You should consider how this fits with your legal obligations, such as health and safety and equalities legislation.
PRACTICAL MEASURES TO CONSIDER – Ideas based on member feedback
CROWD DENSITY & CONTROL
Crowd density (hall size and capacity), large number of attendees, and energetic activity are all identified as bringing higher risks of transmission.
Reduce droplet transmission. Maybe think about a cap on numbers. It will be down to what you and your tango community feel comfortable with as well as the size of your venue. Maybe think about advance booking, fixed seating?
Masks Although not legally required (at the moment), some people will feel more comfortable wearing a mask. Some venues may insist on masks in public areas like the foyer so do check. Some dancers like the idea of wearing a mask if changing partners. It’s down to how you and your tango community feel.
Changing dance partners/Fixed couples
Your dancers will likely decide this for themselves. Some will prefer to stay with a fixed partner or only dance within a known “bubble”. Although this can cause problems in classes where there are single leaders and followers, these preferences should be respected. Over the past few months most of us have become used to this.
Cash is something that passes through many hands and carries a risk of surface contamination. Think about asking for pre-payment or offering card payment.
Food & Drink
Perhaps maybe consider asking everyone to bring their own refreshments or drink container to avoid possible cross infection from shared items.
See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19 for the full guidance.