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Harlow Chorus appeal after being silenced by government

Health / Wed 26th May 2021 pm31 12:12pm

HARLOW Chorus has appealed to their local MP after the government told them that they still can’t meeting indoors.

The chorus, which meets at St John’s Arc in Old Harlow, resumed on Monday May 17th in accordance with the loosening of lockdown measures.

But a day later, without warning, the government updated its guidance to say that, in England, non-professional singing could take place only in groups of up to six people indoors.

The new rules – published the day after a significant relaxation of Covid restrictions, and contravening musicians’ expectations – were met with anger and despair.

Harlow Chorus member Peter Sandell has told YH that the chorus is upset but hope the powers that be change their minds.

Peter said: “We had been meeting on zoom for a long long time which has not been ideal and so we were looking forward to meeting again.

“We had the one session at the Arc in which we complied with the social distancing regulations.

“But then to be told the next day that we had to go back to a group of six was very frustrating.

“We have been in contact with MP Robert Halfon. He attended a zoom meeting and was very supportive. We must now sit and wait.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon said:

“We are lucky to have many wonderful choirs in Harlow including Harlow Chorus who I was pleased to meet with last night to discuss the challenges facing them further. 

“The past year has been extremely difficult for many of these groups and I am therefore extremely disappointed by the Government’s decision to continue to restrict non-professional choral activities to only six people indoors – despite restrictions on other indoor activities, such as gym classes, allowing up to 30 people to participate.

“I have written to both the Culture and Health Secretaries to ask them to immediately review this decision and to ensure that the restrictions on choirs are in line with the restrictions on other indoor activities.

“I will continue to do all I can to help Harlow Chorus and other choir groups in Harlow.”

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