Since 12 December hospitality venues have been allowed to play low level background music and sound. Guidance has been produced to ensure hospitality premises have in place the necessary arrangements for the safe management of low-level background sound.
The Institute of Acoustics have also published a training resource for sound management to support the updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance.
On 14 August 2020, statutory guidance for the hospitality sector was introduced with the precautionary measure, that there should be no background sound in hospitality premises, including music and audio from televisions.
Following introduction of this measure an expert advisory group was established to look at how low-level background sound might be managed in a COVID safe manner that did not interfere with speech intelligibility or cause increased vocal effort.
The advisory group, comprising independent and industry acoustic experts, government and environmental health officials, and trade representatives developed the guidance on how this can be achieved.