At the commencement of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis all the Scottish organists' societies affiliated to the SFO cancelled all face-to-face meetings.
Thus no face-to-face regular or committee/council/trustee meetings are taking place at present. Both the Edinburgh Society of Organists and the Glasgow Society of Organists are planning on-line meetings in October and November 2020 and the Glasgow Society is structuring a 2020-21 syllabus that will allow meetings to be re-configured into face-to-face meetings should the COVID-19 situation allow.
Advice and Instructions from the Scottish Government
With effect from 15th July 2020, the Scottish Government sanctioned the resumption of communal services of prayer and contemplation in chuches limited to 50 people with social distancing, no singing or chanting, and a mandatory COVID-19 risk assessment plus strict health and safety precautions.
Attendances at weddings, funerals and civil partnership ceremonies are limited to a total of 20 people.
The Scottish Government previously indicated that indoor live events such as our meetings might be allowed from Monday 14th September with restricted numbers and strict adherence to physical distancing; however on 10th September the crisis situation was such that these relaxations had to be cancelled.
On 22nd September the Scottish Government decreed that visiting other households is no longer permitted. From Monday 14th September social gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, were legally restricted to 6 people from up to 2 households. On 22nd September this 6 people/2 household indoor/outdoor permission was restricted to public places only and not private homes.
As an "indicative date" the Scottish Government previously put forward the possibility that various relaxations with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers might be possible from Monday 5th October but on 22nd September it was intimated that this relaxation is almost certainly not going to happen.
The restrictions imposed on 22nd September will be reviewed by the Scottish Government every 3 weeks but on the same day the UK Prime Minister expressed the opinion in the Westminster Parliament that these restrictions may remain in force until at least mid-March 2021.
Given that many of our members are in the more senior age group and may have underlying health issues, quite a high proportion are in the "shielding" category of the population. Even although shielding was paused by the Scottish Government on 1st August all people in this category should excercise extreme caution and only take part in activities when they feel it is legal, safe and wise to do so.
The following guides will be of use to all - not only "shielding" members but all others as well, giving advice on whether or not to arrange or attend events. Thanks are due to the Scottish Government for producing these charts.
You will note that meeting people indoors and contact with people you do not live with are classed as being high risk activities. Please be aware that if you decide to attend any event you do so at your own risk.