London Barndance: Dancing in COVID times

Summary: September 2022

The Covid-19 infection rate has fallen over the summer but is still around 1.6% in England (one person in 60).

Please assume that there will be several infected people at the dance.
Our risk assessment explains why we say this.

Vaccination gives very good protection against serious disease so if you are fully vaccinated you may consider dancing to be an acceptable risk. We do for ourselves, but you must make your own decision.

Precautions

Vaccine
Vaccines protect you and those around you. The protection given by a vaccine multiplies the effect of any other protective measure so this is the single most important thing you can do.
Our risk assessment assumes that you are fully vaccinated for your own protection. If you are not vaccinated then you are taking a risk at least 5-10 times greater than everyone else.
Stay at home if unwell
Please stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you feel unwell in any other way.
Testing
Please do a lateral-flow test before coming to a dance. Please stay at home if you get a positive result. These tests are not 100% reliable, but they are quite good at detecting very infectious cases.
Choose who you dance with
If you are nervous about getting close to lots of people you might choose to stay with one or two partners all evening.
We will provide coloured badges to help here, the idea being something like:
Red: please don't ask me to dance - I will stick with one partner
Yellow: please try to keep at arm's length (no ballroom-hold swings)
Green: dance like the old days!
Masks are optional while dancing
Government guidance issued on 8th December 2021 said: You do not need to wear a face covering in nightclubs or certain other night-time venues, including dance halls and discotheques. This is because it is not recommended that you wear a face covering while exercising or during strenuous physical activity, including dancing. Therefore it is not a legal requirement to wear a mask while dancing. You may still want to do so, and that is perfectly OK.
Please respect other people's choices about wearing masks.
Hand gel
There will be hand-gel at Cecil Sharp House, but you may prefer to bring your own in any case. Touch-based infection is much less of a problem than originally thought, but it would be wise to clean hands before touching any part of your face. With that in mind, why not bring a small towel or flannel to wipe your face without touching it with your hands?
Be kind
Other people will be more (or less) nervous than you are about COVID-19. Try not to upset them, and please be tolerant if they make mistakes or misunderstand what you want them to do.

Here are some of the things that we and C# are doing:

Space
Kennedy Hall has a nominal capacity of 400 people. LBC events usually attract 100-130 dancers so everyone will have plenty of space. Obviously you will be close to your chosen partner and others in your set, but there will be plenty of space between sets.
Air
Kennedy Hall has updated forced-air ventilation. In summer this brings lots of air in from outside. In the heating season some of the air is recirculated through high-efficiency filters. We are not allowed to open the outside doors while music is being played, so we will make sure that the fans are always on.
Watching the numbers
The risk of infection depends on how many infected people there are and how close you are to one and for how long. If the case numbers rise significantly we will re-assess our plans.

See Also