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Durham University

Covid-19 Response

Performing Arts group exemptions

In consultation with Durham County Council Public Health, the University is now able to consider applications from Performing Arts groups to undertake elements of their activities - both rehearsals and performances - with some relaxation to the 2m social distancing restrictions.

The safety of students, staff and the wider community remains our priority and, therefore, in the limited number of situations where an exemption is granted, the implementation of other mitigating safety measures will be required - this will include an enhanced Lateral Flow Testing regime.

When completing the application form, which requires groups to consider a series of safety mitigations, it is crucial that it is clear as to WHY an exemption is required for the activity.

Performing Arts groups can request the following:

  1. That a group of performers can interact for an agreed period of time without 2m social distancing constraints being in place - and without face coverings for the purpose of performance
  2. That physical touching is permitted (examples include stage combat and dance)
  3. That a stationary group, for example a music society, can be sat (or stood) closer than 2m together to increase the capacity of the room and, therefore, involve a larger number of participants

In making the application, groups are required to consider a range of factors, including:

  1. The number of performers who are required to interact without the 2m restrictions - this should always be kept to a minimum
  2. Whether a complete relaxation in social distancing is required or whether restrictions at 1m would enable the rehearsals and performances to be undertaken successfully
  3. The length of time a relaxation in social distancing measures is necessary for each performer. Is it required for the entire rehearsal, or performance, or just at particular points?
  4. If a relaxation in social distancing is required, is it practicable during rehearsals for some of this activity to take place with the relevant participants wearing face coverings?
  5. Is there a time during the rehearsal period where a relaxation in social distancing measures should be implemented? For example, can the initial rehearsals take place with 2m restrictions and a change be implemented at the final rehearsal stage only?

Once completed your application, including a completed Risk Assessment, will be considered within 5 working days.

In addition to the 5 areas identified above, consideration will also be given to the ventilation quality in the relevant building (if indoors) and the necessary Lateral Flow Testing regime required to help ensure the safety of the activity.

Application form

You can find the application form here.

Application form

You can find the application form here.