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[UPDATED] Arts and culture classes, lectures, talks and workshops

First issued on 19 June 2020
Updated on 31 December 2021

1. From 10 August 2021, unmasking may be permitted in arts and culture classes and workshops involving dance, voice training, speech and drama, singing and wind, subject to the updated SMMs.

2. In line with Fast and Easy Testing (FET) requirements for arts and culture classes, lectures, talks and workshops, FET will be mandatory for all businesses and their employees working in the following fields, regardless of whether they are conducting masked or unmasked activities:

    a. Dance, singing, voice and theatre training, and wind/brass instrument instruction activities; and

    b. Arts education instruction activities with children aged 12 and below.

    Please refer to the ‘FET for Higher-Risk Arts Instruction Activities’ page for further information.

3. With reference to MOH’s press release of 6 August 2021, individuals working in sectors that interact with customers in higher-risk mask off settings will be required to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated persons will be required to undergo regular Antigen Rapid Testing (ART), twice a week, to pick up possible infections early. This requirement will take effect from 1 October 2021 to give some time for individuals to be vaccinated. For the small group that remains medically ineligible for vaccines, the Government will subsidise their tests.

Training classes and professional workshops

4. In-person training classes and professional workshops, except for classes in dance, singing, voice training, speech and drama, and wind instruments, must adhere to the following requirements:

• From 22 November 2021, limit group size to no more than 5 participants (excluding one instructor).

• More than one group of 5 may be permitted in the same room, as long as there is:

1. At least 1 metre spacing between all groups;

2. No physical interaction or intermingling with other groups;

3. No more than 50 persons in a single room

• Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, musical instruments and microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.

• All surfaces are to be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected between classes and workshops.

• Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible.

Classes in Dance

5. All indoor in-person dance classes must adhere to the following requirements:

From 22 November 2021, limit group size to no more than 5 persons (excluding one instructor).

• Limit class size to 50 pax, if all participants in class are masked.

• Limit class size to 30 pax, if participants are unmasked. This is also subject to the total capacity that the venue can accommodate with safe distancing. All participants in class and unmasked instructors must be either fully vaccinated or exempted from VDS1. If these conditions are met, common equipment may also be provided to participants.

o Instructors may choose to conduct classes while remaining fully masked. However, all instructors (whether masked or unmasked) interacting with unmasked customers/participants must continue to adhere to the FET requirements outlined at Para 2.

• Unmasked classes for unvaccinated children of age 12 and below may resume with no need for the children to undergo a Pre-Event test:

o Classes involving these unvaccinated children must be limited to a maximum of 5 persons (including the instructor);

o All the unvaccinated children in the class must be from the same household;

o Any other individuals in the class (including the instructor) must be either fully vaccinated or exempted from VDS.

• There must be a minimum of 2 metres safe distance between persons;

• From 10 November 2021, there must be a minimum of 2 metres spacing between each group. The groups should not intermingle before, during, and after the class;

• There should be no provision of common equipment unless all participants in class are either (i) fully vaccinated; (ii) recovered from COVID-19; or (iii) have obtained a negative result on a Pre-Event Test taken in the past 24 hours before the expected end of the event. Participants should also avoid sharing equipment;

• Participants, including the instructor, must not talk loudly, sing, or shout while engaging in physical activities to minimise risk of transmission via droplets;

• There must be a minimum of 15 minutes interval between class start times, if a premise is able to host multiple classes at a time. Alternatively, the premise must put in place separate routes to prevent intermingling and mixing between participants of different classes before and after class;

• The classroom should be ventilated after the end of each class;

• Participants should leave the premises immediately once they have completed their class, or if they have exceeded a two hour period;

• The premise should be wiped down / sanitised frequently; and

• No food and drink is to be supplied or consumed within the activity area to ensure masks remain on (apart from bottled water)

1Only individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination can be exempted from VDS.

Classes in singing, voice training, speech and drama, wind and brass instrument

First issued on 3 August 2020

6. From 10 August 2021, unmasking for classes involving singing, voice training, speech and drama, and wind and brass instruments may be permitted, subject to the updated SMMs.

7. The organisers of these classes must ensure that they adhere to the SMMs below: 

General SMMs

• There must be a maximum of 50 participants in a room, including students, instructor(s) and accompanist(s), grouped at no more than the prevailing group size. Total capacity is also subject to the number of pax that the venue can accommodate with safe distancing measures in place.

• Masks must continue to be worn as a default, unless unmasking is necessary for the training activity. Masked singing is not permitted until further notice.

• Only the same 20 participants can be unmasked for the duration of the class.

• Singing and wind instruments will only be permitted if all participants in class, and unmasked instructors are either fully vaccinated or exempted from VDS2. If these conditions are met, all unmasked participants in class may sing and play wind instruments.

o Instructors may choose to conduct classes while remaining fully masked. However, all instructors (whether masked or unmasked) interacting with unmasked customers/participants must continue to adhere to the FET requirements outlined at Para 2.

• Singing and wind instrument classes for unvaccinated children of age 12 and below may resume with no need for the children to undergo a Pre-Event test:

o Classes involving these unvaccinated children must be limited to a maximum of 5 persons (including the instructor);

o All the unvaccinated children in the class must be from the same household;

o Any other individuals in the class (including the instructor) must be either fully vaccinated or exempted from VDS.

• There must be at least 1m safe distance between individuals who are masked. For individuals who are unmasked, they must maintain a 2m safe distance with the next individual.

• Participants should refrain from positioning themselves directly opposite each other, and when singing, should sing away from each other. If they cannot do so, they should maintain more than 2 metres safe distance from each other.

• All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected between classes and workshops.

• Students should remain in the same class throughout the duration of the term to avoid cross-mixing with other groups. If they switch classes, there should be a two-week break between attending their former class and their new class.

• Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, microphones, mutes, music scores) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.

• Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible. 

2Only individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination can be exempted from VDS.

SMMs for Wind Instrument Classes

• In addition to the general SMMs, wind instrument classes must also observe the following:

o Instructors must continue to wear masks even when singing or humming a passage of music to demonstrate how this should sound when played on the instrument.

o Liquids from instruments (i.e. condensation and saliva) must be collected and disposed of hygienically.

o Participants should play on wind instruments which are fully intact, and refrain from training practices involving only parts of the instrument (e.g. mouthpiece buzzing, playing with just the lead pipe) to prevent droplet transmission.

o There should be no sharing of music instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds).