At the initiative of the orchestra directors of the seven Berlin orchestras, a statement was made on orchestral playing and the safety of musicians together with scientists from the Charité Berlin. According to scientific assessment, orchestras can play together again under certain conditions and therefore begin rehearsal work. However, the orchestral performance should initially take place with clear protective measures including 1.5 meters for strings and 2 meters for wind players.

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This study relates to the situation of orchestral musicians, security measures for the audience must be worked out separately.

Study by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO), the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the orchestras of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Komische Oper Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) and the Staatskapelle Berlin and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. med. Stefan N. Willich and Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Anne Berghöfer, Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, and Dr. med. Miriam Karen Wiese-Posselt and Prof. Dr. med. Petra Gastmeier, Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Prof. Stefan Willich, Director of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics at the Charité: “This statement creates an important basis for rehearsals and concerts for the orchestra. However, the game should initially be carried out in compliance with clear protective measures, including 1.5 meters for strings and 2 meters for wind players. ”

The statement is based on current scientific knowledge and assessments and the experience of musicians and instrument experts.

To avoid risks associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), there are recommendations for measures. These are temporary measures in an extreme exceptional situation. If necessary, further epidemiological developments and new research results must be taken into account during implementation.

Recommendations for orchestral arrangement depending on the group of instruments:

  • String spacing 1.5 m.
  • Blower stool spacing 2 m, liquid removal and instrument cleaning with disposable wipes (to be disposed of) or wipes (to be cleaned). Brass with additional plexiglass protection.
  • Drummers with a chair spacing of 1.5 m, avoid sharing instruments and accessories.
  • Harps and keyboard instruments 1.5 m apart.
  • Conductor distance from the orchestral musicians at least 2 m for rehearsal and 1.5 m for concert.

General protective measures:

  • Symptom mindfulness: Daily self-examination of clinical signs indicative of COVID-19: fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, head and body aches, gastrointestinal complaints, weakness, odor / taste disturbance. If one or more of these signs appear, the musician remains at home and should contact a doctor for a test for SARS-CoV-2.
  • The employer offers employees of the high-risk groups for COVID-19 infections (see definitions of the Robert Koch Institute) an exemption within the framework of occupational health care. If desired, they can take part in the game.
  • Observe hand hygiene and coughing labels, hand disinfection at least when entering and leaving the workplace.
  • Physical distance of at least 1.5 m in general dealings with employees. Mouthguards should be worn in closed rooms outside the concert hall, this is no longer required on the podium.
  • Normal cleaning of work rooms and functional rooms including changing rooms and toilets.
  • Operation of air conditioning systems with an appropriate DIN standard, alternatively regular ventilation.