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COVID-19 Risk Assessment for Westbury Park Orchestra 

Westbury Park Orchestra is a group of approx. 50 musicians (the Players) who meet once a week for a 1.5 hour rehearsal, with occasional concerts at other venues. The Orchestra is currently proposing to use Oatley Hall at St.Monicas Trust site at Cote Lane for rehearsals.

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through small droplets, aerosols and direct contact. Singing, shouting and physical activity increase the risk of transmission through small droplets and aerosols. The cumulative effect of aerosol transmission means the more people involved, the higher the risk of transmission. 

There has been some specific research at Bristol University on the practical risks of aerosols created by wind instruments for COVID transmission. Initial results that playing wind instruments is marginally higher risk than speaking, but a lot less risky than singing. An email with Professor Jonathan Reid at Bristol University has confirmed this result.

Consulting the Making Music website, England moved to step 4 of the roadmap on 19 July and since that date, most restrictions have been lifted. DCMS have confirmed to Making Music that as per previous announcements: 

  • There will be no limits on the number of people that can gather to rehearse indoors or outdoors. This includes choirs. 

  • The need to socially distance has been removed.

However, the move to step 4 and easing of restrictions does not mean risk of Covid has disappeared, and groups will still need measures in place to ensure they are providing a safe environment.

We all have our own view of risk, depending on our personal situation. No-one should feel under pressure to play and should NOT play if they do not feel is it safe for them to do so. 

We encourage all Players to take a Lateral Flow Test before attending rehearsals, but particularly if:-

  • You have recently spent time in high-risk mixing environments especially schools

  • You have not been double-jabbed

If the Lateral Flow Test result is Positive, please do NOT attend rehearsal.

In order to keep us all safe you must not attend the rehearsal if the following is true: 

  • You have had any of the following symptoms in the last 7 days: elevated temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste or smell 

  • You have been in close contact with anyone with symptoms in the last 7 days 

  • NHS Track&Trace has asked you to self-isolate in the last 7 days 

  • You have returned from abroad and been asked to self isolate in the last 14 days?  

  • You have any other ailments that may be contagious ie a cold, stomach upset etc 

You should only attend the rehearsal if you have read WPO’s Covid-19 Rehearsal Guidelines below and agree to fully comply with the measures put in place. A full Risk Assessment will be available on the WPO website.

By attending the rehearsal, you are acknowledging: 

  • the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • that WPO has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. 

  • that WPO cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with the Coronavirus/Covid-19 by attending a WPO Rehearsal.  

  • that you are increasing your risk to exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.  

  • that you must comply with all set procedures to reduce the spread while attending the rehearsal.  

  • that you will inform the WPO Secretary should you test positive for Coronavirus/COVID-19 during the week following the rehearsal 

Risk Register

Area of Risk 

Risk Identified

Risk Rating


Arrivals, departures and use of the building 

Contact between Players and other users of the Hall 


Keyholder – to arrive by 7.30pm 

Entry/Departure: Keyholder opens up main door.

All Players are to wear masks when entering and leaving the building, using any of the common areas (including the toilets) and in our rehearsal space until he/she is seated. 

Only designated toilets at the rehearsal venue to be used by Players

Players should ensure Secretary has up to date information on mobile number (preferred) or landline. 

The Keyholder is responsible for securing all windows before leaving.


Contaminated surfaces 


Sanitising equipment will be available if Players wish to sanitise the chairs (one per player); before starting rehearsal. 

At the end of rehearsal Players will stack all chairs back and place against walls of the hall. 

Social distancing should be maintained while doing this. 

A rubbish bin will be provided near the toilet and also there is a dustbin outside for disposal of rubbish. 

Social Distancing

Contact between players 


Players will sit with at least 1m spacing between chairs.

Players must wear face coverings when moving around rehearsal space.

Players may remove face coverings when sat on their rehearsal chair.


Moisture/Aerosols generated during playing 


Doors/windows to be kept open while playing.


Moisture generated by woodwind instruments during playing 


Every Woodwind Player to bring a towel, newspaper or container with lid to collect condensation together with a bag to take the towel or newspaper away at the end. Players using an instrument stand should bring a separate cloth etc to place under the stand. Any spills/drops onto the floor are to be cleaned up immediately. 

Woodwind players must only clean their instrument over their instrument case whilst in the venue or instruments should go straight into the case at the end of the session, to be cleaned elsewhere. It is important that bass and alto players take care to discharge the condensation that accumulates in the crook into their cloth or a container. 

Record keeping, notification and paperwork 

Tracing contacts 


Secretary to maintain a register of members present at each rehearsal. 

Any Player who develops symptoms within 10 days of visiting the premises must immediately notify the Secretary, who will then notify other members who were at the same rehearsal 


Multiple touched surfaces 


Players should generally keep their parts in folders– this reduces the possibilities for contamination. 

Version 1. 05 September 2021 

This document will be reviewed regularly; it will also be reviewed immediately if there are changes in HM Government Guidelines or the advice provided by Making Music. All Players will be advised of any review and any amended version will be circulated to all Players.

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