To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the recommendation that premises should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people unduly raising their voices in the Government guidance on working safely during coronavirus, published on 24 June, what assessment the Government has made of whether singing carries an increased risk of transmission of covid-19; and what scientific evidence was used in that assessment.
Current Public Health England assessment is that singing carries a potential higher risk of transmission and that participation in this activity requires particular attention to the risk involved. Based on this, Government guidance proposes a precautionary risk-based approach to certain activities and aims to develop the ways activities can be carried out as the evidence base is better understood.
To help support the development of the evidence base in regards to singing, DCMS is engaged in a number of scientific activities focusing on the need to understand the different risks associated with singing, brass and woodwind. DCMS is working closely with SAGE and a number of specialists in aerosol transmission and ventilation, who will focus on a number of critical research questions. These groups will be examining existing and emerging evidence to provide advice to guide the future development of policy and guidelines.