Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for musicians

The number of reported incidents of new coronavirus infections in the UK continues to increase, and the UK government are closely monitoring the situation.

We will continue to update guidance to members in the light of updates and advice from the UK Government, Public Health Wales, Health Protection Scotland, the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

We recommend that members check this advice frequently in order to stay informed about recommended courses of action.

1. Stay informed

Stay informed using the links to the official sources above.

2. Take simple health precautions

What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms:

Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

    This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

    Do not
    go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

    People who are self-isolating with mild symptoms will not be tested.

    If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

    If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

    What to do to protect yourself and others:

    The government introduced new measures on 23 March 2020 requiring all UK citizens to stay at home to reduce the spread of the infection. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes: See the government's advice on staying at home.They will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

    You should also read the government's guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Make sure you are following NHS guidelines on hygiene - how to stop the infection spreading.

    3. Music teachers

    The government decided to close all UK schools indefinitely from Friday 20 March 2020, except for children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

    Stay up to date with the latest Government guidance to educational establishments and read the ISM's actions and advice regarding school closure.

    You should follow any instructions issued by your employer.

    For more information on your contractual position, please see the following advice pages for private teachers, employed teachers and self-employed teachers.

    4. Performers

    If your performance has been cancelled and you have a contract, please refer to our advice page for performers.

    For ISM members working without a contract or for advice around your ability to withdraw from existing engagements please contact the legal team who will be able to advise on your individual situation.

    5. Legal advice

    Our legal team will give ISM members advice if you are suspended from work, or have self-isolated, because of the virus.

    We will also advise you on your rights if your freelance engagements are cancelled or postponed.

    If you are an ISM member, you can contact the in-house legal team via [email protected]. Please include your membership number and supporting documents(contracts, correspondence etc) for review.

    Please be aware we are handling a high number of cases relating to coronavirus. Thank you for your patience at this time.

    6. Financial advice

    Find out what Government financial measures mean for music professionals, and view our financial advice pages for self-employed musicians, employed musicians and business owners. We have also produced financial advice for renters and homeowners.

    7. Advice for travellers

    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people travelling abroad to return to the UK, if commercial flights are still available.

    The FCO also advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. All countries may restrict travel without notice.

    Check the government's travel advice page for the latest information.

    This page was updated on 30 March 2020