26 March 2020
Like every other organisation, we are trying to keep up with the current guidance on Coronavirus and trying to develop a strategy for the medium term.
In the short term we have cancelled our Easter Camp and refunded any payments made (or transferred to a Summer Camp). We are also moving the final audition day at Mountview to Saturday 23 May in the hope that the health/hygiene situation will have stabilised. The casting woskhops for Peter Pan and Goblin Market at May half term have been cancelled and we are extending the rehersals periods by a similar number of days in the summer to take account of this; we will be writing to all particpants in these two shows to let them know of the new arrangements.
Our assumption is that our whole summer programme will go ahead unless Government restrictions forbidding educational gatherings are extended into the summer. Assuming the programme takes place, we will, of course, take all necessary precautions to ensure that the courses are run as safely as possible and this may mean additional health precautions.
We shall be asking all participants to advise us if they have recently travelled to or from any contries with a serious recent outbreak of the virus. If they have, we may ask them not to attend the course. We will issue a full list of these countries closer to the time.
We may ask participants or their parents to sign a form to this effect and to affirm that they/their child are not suffering from any of the symptoms of Coronavirus.
During the courses we will:
• work with the boarding schools and universities we use to ensure heightened awareness of hygiene and safety in relation to Covid-19 (most of them are doing this anyway)
• increase our focus on sanitising all high contact areas
• encourage young people to use hygiene gels and anti-viral hand washes
• ensure all pastoral staff receive ongoing briefings and are following robust COVID-19 protocols
• have a contingency plan in place in the event of a case of Covid-19 amongst staff or children
• reduce close working amongst children and young people as much as possible
We are also looking at various contingency plans in the event of theatres that we use being affected by, or closing as a result of, Coronavirus. In some case we may be able to use other facilities within the school or university at which we are staying. At others we may be able to move to similar alternative venues. We know that one theatre has already gone into liquidation and another has indicated it cannot run over the summer. We are looking for alternatives.
If one of the accommodation venues closes due to a Covid-19 outbreak we may be able to move to another venue and will try and maintain a list of alternative venues with free accommodation.
In the event that government restrictions or guidelines result in the cancellation of any or all of our Summer Productions or Summer Camps, BYMT will offer a full cash refund, Credit Note/Gift Voucher or a combination of the two.
We are very aware of the level of concern about the risks from Coronavirus and are closely following Government and Public Health England (PHE) advice so we can monitor and plan accordingly.
However, we maintain a positive attitude towards containment of the virus and are assuming that over the coming months a combination of Public Health action plans and good hygiene amongst the public will enable our Summer activities to continue. We will keep you informed about any further developments.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all very soon!
The BYMT Team.
If you have any concerns about your health in relation to novel coronavirus, COVID-19, please follow Public Health England advice and use the NHS 111 coronavirus service.