The Associations’ NEC & Branch Committees would like to share information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) including guidance for professionals in public spaces, attending events and other industry-related activities where contact may expose you to potential infection.
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Commonly, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected. The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection: cough, difficulty in breathing and fever.
It is important to please monitor the updates issued online by the government and comply with all guidance provided.
We have incorporated amongst the GOV.UK information some practical DJ industry-related guidance along with useful links to help prompt thought of where potential infection can occur.
How COVID-19 is spread – From what is known about other coronaviruses, the spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person. Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- Infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
- The music is likely to be loud at your event and therefore guests asking for requests and announcements will probably get close to you so they can be heard.
- Meeting clients face-to-face could be avoided by offering to telephone or video call.
- It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a doorknob or shaking hands then touching own face).
- Keep microphones clean and wiped over with antibacterial wipes/spray after every use.
- Speaker surfaces and ambient low-level lighting should be wiped over with antibacterial solution or wipes after every event as these are accessible to the public.
Other broad points we feel you should consider include:
- Travel – If you are required to travel outside of the UK for a booking, please use appropriate caution and follow the government’s advice.
- Typical hygiene safety measures – In order to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, please look at the advice on the NHS website with advice on prevention of catching and spreading germs.
Feeling unwell and self-isolation – Please follow the government’s advice for reporting illness, recent travel and self-isolation as appropriate.
If you are concerned or feeling unwell, in the first instance we advise you contact your client or agent that has engaged you for the booking.
COVID-19 and your contractual commitments
Check to see if you have a superior force clause, more commonly known as a Force Majeure, in your contract. This is a contract provision that allows a party to suspend or terminate the performance of its obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible.
If this clause has not been included in your contract you may need to rely on an English contract law principle known as the doctrine of frustration which acts as a device to set aside contracts where an unforeseen event either renders contractual obligations impossible or radically changes the party’s principal purpose for entering into the contract.
Whether the COVID-19 outbreak is enough to trigger a force majeure clause it will depend on the individual circumstances, such as what Government advice is in relation to the area where you will be performing, e.g. a booking in Northern Italy would be considered impossible and inadvisable to deliver on your contractual agreement.
Please be aware that guidance is changing daily, and any advice cannot necessarily be given with absolute assurance at this stage. It is probable that in light of related circumstances, the outbreak is likely to prompt the force majeure clause. You could potentially be released from your contractual commitments should the force majeure or the application of a doctrine of frustration be set in motion, however, do remember the numerous variables and the varying differences unique to your business model, may not be applicable to generalised contractual advice nor could it be appropriate to your situation.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) is liaising with industry experts to determine a solid understanding of your legal rights when event organisers and venues cancel events. We shall continue to investigate what circumstances will ensure that a performers contract will still apply and should be paid. We are also looking at cancellations when Government or Health Authorities intervene and frustration of contract may occur, in which case the obligation to pay anyone will be unlikely.
The PLI that is included in your membership nor any other insurance that we are aware of will cover loss of income to an individual following the closure of a business from COVID-19, or any other cause. It is likely that all new policies from now on are likely to exclude cover for COVID-19.
Useful advice on how to avoid COVID-19 from NHS.UK:
- DO: Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
- DO: Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
- Remember to sanitize hands after breakdown and loading.
- If eating after a gig, consider that not all establishments follow the guidelines closely.
- DO: Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- This will be important for club and bar DJs sharing equipment.
- Your roadie should also keep hands clean as they handle most of the kit.
- DO: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- DO: Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
- DO: Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- If you are worried that a guest/customer could be infected keep a sensible distance.
- Try to avoid face-to-face conversations.
- Avoid the homemade buffet at your next gig; can you vouch for the prep hygiene?
- DON’T: touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- DON’T: have visitors to your home including family and friends.
How the NADJ can help
If you have concerns regarding the effects of COVID-19 to you and your business the NADJ are happy to help wherever we can from researching specific issues to simply talking through your frustrations and worries. The NEC and you branch Committees are here to support our members and the DJ community through this challenging time.
The NADJ network is also here to help you and your business whilst the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt events and public gatherings. At this time, we are thinking about our members that may come into contact with the virus and be required to self-isolate which will affect attending gigs and delivering on contractual obligations. The NEC and Branch Committees are ready to support you to find fellow members that can help cover any bookings and gigs wherever possible.
We wish all the best to you and your family during this challenging time.
NADJ NEC & Committees.