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  • By Cory Crossman



The Canadian Live Music Association has released a guideline for safely re-opening live music venues in Ontario as per Phase 3 of Ontario's re-opening strategy.

OVERVIEW The purpose of this document is to provide a high-level overview of specific guidelines for the safe reopening of live music within the Province of Ontario. While these guidelines represent best practices, each venue is unique with varying physical layouts and operational models. Therefore, organizations contemplating reopening should create their own specific COVID-19 Phase 3 reopening procedures based on these guidelines and in consultation with local Public Health authorities.

CONTROLS FOR PREVENTING COVID-19 Live music venues contemplating reopening should have in place measures and controls to prevent COVID-19 infection. While there is variance in size and infrastructure across the live music sector, new measures may include:

• Health screening and entry controls for the public, artists, crew and staff

• The use of non medical masks when physical distancing is not possible in conjunction with local by-laws and Public Health directives

• Changes to operational practices in all areas following COVID-19 best practices and Public Health guidance

• COVID-19 measures and awareness training for staff as appropriate by area of specialization

• Appropriate personal protective equipment for front line staff based on risk to personal and public health

• Clear communication of measures in place to attending members of the public, artists and crew members

COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE AND CONTACT TRACING Live music venues should have in place procedures for a rapid response immediately following a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. These procedures should consider all areas of operations and include the following:

• Response should a staff member, artist or crew member become infected with COVID-19

• Response should a member of the public be confirmed infected with COVID-19

• Response for a person with the sudden onset of known COVID-19 symptoms

Venues should record contact information for members of the public, artists, crew and staff to support local public health authorities with rapid contact tracing in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

CLEANING, SANITATION AND HIGH TOUCH POINTS Live music venues should be highly vigilant when it comes to frequent cleaning and disinfecting, with particular attention paid to high touch surfaces. The following are recommendations to consider prior to reopening:

• Identify high touch points throughout venue and consider controls to minimize touching as much as possible

• Consider dedicated high touch point cleaning staff and dedicated restroom cleaning staff during events

• Locate alcohol based hand sanitizing stations throughout venue focusing on higher traffic areas and high touch points

• Reassess current cleaning protocols to ensure that all areas are sufficiently sanitized prior to an event

• Check manufacturer specifications on cleaning and disinfection agents to ensure that they are effective for COVID-19 and administered correctly

PHYSICAL DISTANCING Measures should be in place in every venue to allow for the physical distancing of the public, artists, crew and staff throughout the entire venue. These measures can include the following as appropriate in individual venues:

• Updated entry protocols to reduce bottlenecks and queuing

• Physical distancing and directional signs, floor markings, transparent barriers such as Plexiglas, stanchions or bike rack

• Contactless payment and ticketing

• Altered seating or audience layouts that ensure physical distancing

• Posted capacities on back of house spaces based on physical distancing requirements

• Provide physical barriers such as plexiglass shields to separate anyone such as a singers, brass or woodwind player’s from each other and spectators when adequate physical space is not available for appropriate distancing measures

Download a copy of the Canadian Live Music Associations Guidelines here.



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