Dancing in the time of COVID

These are strange and troubling times, but it is still important, perhaps more than ever, to seek joy and to share wonderful music and dancing with other people.

The Folk Federation of Tasmania is restarting its dances. This has involved a lot of extra planning and work, all done by volunteers, in order to meet the additional requirements from government and the managers of the venues we hire. We will have to do things differently. We know that this may be frustrating or confusing, but it is vital for everyone’s safety and to meet the requirements for us to be able to run dances at all.

Before you attend any of our dances, please read the following. By attending, you have committed to abiding by these conditions.

Folk Federation of Tasmania—Hobart Dances—Entry Conditions

Please do not attend one of our dances if, within the last 14 days you:

· Have had COVID-19

· Have been instructed to quarantine or isolate and have not yet finished your 14 days

· Have had a COVID-19 test and not yet received the result

· Have been unwell with any flu-like symptoms, including fever (night sweats or chills) or respiratory symptoms e.g., shortness of breath, cough or sore throat

· Have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19

· Have travelled from any other country or from any area of Australia where there is community transmission of COVID-19

If you develop any flu-like symptoms at a dance, please inform us, ensure that we have your details and then go home to rest, be tested and be safe.

If you have any questions, please ask one of our COVID Safety Coordinators.

Folk Federation of Tasmania—Hobart Dances—COVID-19 Safety

Whilst you are here, please:

· Ensure that we have your name and contact details.

· Ideally use the COVIDSafe app.

· Ensure minimal contact and safe hygiene to do with food and drink, but do have adequate hydration and sustenance.  Do not use any crockery or cutlery provided by the hall, but rather provide your own, or ask us.  Bring your own water bottle, and a cup for hot drinks on nights with supper.

· Observe 1.5m physical distancing requirements wherever practical whilst not dancing (except for household members).  Don’t greet other people physically.

· Use the same seat throughout the evening.

· Limit unnecessary social gatherings outside the hall.

· Use hand sanitiser or wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, at the start and end of the event, and, where possible, between dances. Use our sanitiser or your own.

· Follow the safety-related directions of our COVID Safety Coordinators or dance organisers.

· Depart promptly at the end of the event, so that the cleaning crew can start cleaning.  If you need to use the toilets at the end of the night, do so promptly.

· If you develop any flu-like symptoms, please inform us, ensure that we have your details and then go home to rest, be tested and be safe.

Booking and Payments

In order to reduce the risk of infection, we are moving towards cashless transactions. Please try to book beforehand (see links in publicity) or pay by credit card at the door. Ideally, book beforehand, to reduce queues at the door and allow us to provide and collect the necessary information ahead of time.

How is it Possible to Dance in a COVID-safe Way?

There is obviously some risk, but so there is in many other activities. We are acting on the best government and health advice that we have. Dancing has been assessed as a Level C sport under the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport. Level C sports have resumed in Tasmania, under various restrictions. See the Tasmanian government rules for Sport and Recreation.

Resuming dancing has involved a lot of extra planning and work, all done by volunteers, in order to meet the additional requirements from government and the managers of the venues we hire. We will have to do things differently. We know that this may be frustrating or confusing, but it is vital for everyone’s safety and to meet the requirements for us to be able to run dances at all.

The latest government guidelines can be found on https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/facts/important-community-updates. Here’s the most recent relevant section:

Update on dancing restrictions

Published 28 August 2020

Restrictions remain in place for dancing in all venues where food and alcohol is consumed because of the increased risk of close contact, particularly where alcohol is consumed, and difficulty of tracing contact among patrons. This restriction will be in place at least until the end of 2020.

Dancing will only be permitted when it is pre-arranged, held in a separate room to where food and alcohol is consumed and contact information is recorded. For example, the following could occur:

a pre-arranged dance class in a separate room of a pub;
dance classes or dancing in a community hall; and
water, tea, coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks could be consumed in the same room as a dance class or dancing.

The only other exception is dancing at a wedding reception. The wedding couple, their parents/guardians and other bridal party members can dance.

The management of risk associated with these activities must also be covered in a venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan.

If someone hires a venue, such as a community hall, they share with the venue owner/operator the responsibility for managing dance and other activities, including physical distancing and facilitating a safe entry and exit to the premises.

Thank you

Thanks for your understanding, support and enthusiasm.

By attending, safely, you are showing your support for a healthier, happier world, and providing some income for musicians and venues, both of whom have suffered major losses of income in recent months.

Enjoy yourself!  Be safe, but don’t let the virus beat us.  Have fun with live music and dancing.