The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

COVID-19 and returning to dancing - or not ! An update.

COVID-19 and returning to dancing - or not ! An update.

The Ring Officers have been trying to develop some guidance which might offer a safe approach to returning to practice but a lot of this is governed by the Risk Assessments in place at specific venues, and vastly differing guidance on what distancing and other measures are in place for activity. There is no intent to "get around" current regulations, nor to endanger those more vulnerable, wittingly or otherwise. The greatest barrier to cogent guidance is the continual changing of the regulatory framework. This is, of course, complicated further depending on your local rules, and where the government identifies significant high-risk breaches they are converting guidance to legislation.

The Morris Ring is in discussions with EFDSS and the JMO to lobby the Secretary of State so that the Morris becomes recognised on any future guidance that is produced.

A letter has been drafted, we are going through a stage of moderation so that the information we put forward reflects the  current situation, this is of course an ever shifting position. We want our members to be safe and are seeking reassurances that the actions we have planned out are the correct measures going forward. We also want to ensure that any advice we offer as an organisation is appropriate.

At present, the risk assessments related to multi-person dance from the dance National Governing Bodies (NGB) only depart from 2m separation for professional dancers, and amateur performers are required to follow the standard government rules. The risk assessments for exercise from their NGBs mean we could return to practice, but only on an individual basis within 3m grids. Since Sport and Exercise were separated in terms of their National Governing Bodies, we cannot follow sport guidance.Neither is helpful, hence the approach via the EFDSS. Creating appropriate guidance will be a massive challenge as it would have to cover not just Cotswold and North West, but Rapper, Longsword and Appalachian.

The JMO have Sally Wearing (a former H&S professional) dedicating considerable time and effort to creating guidelines which comply with all the legislation and guidance. The sands are continually shifting, so whatever guidance is produced is current only for a brief period.

        Simon Newman                           Jon Melville
Squire of the Morris Ring        Bagman of the Morris Ring
squire [at] themorrisring [dot] org    bagman [at] themorrisring [dot] org