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New Vortex Jazz Club Limited Covid-19 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (Updated July 2021)

New Vortex Jazz Club Limited Covid-19 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (Updated July 2021)

The Vortex is committed to providing a Covid-safe environment. We have caried out an updated Covid-19 risk assessment in consultation with staff in advance of the Government’s planned relaxation of Covid restrictions which is due to be effective on July 19 2021.

It is clear that case numbers remain high and that a significant part of the population is not double-vaccinated (particularly younger people). In the circumstances there remains the need to take measures to protect staff, volunteers, musicians and audiences from the risk of transmission, as far as is reasonably possible.

In the circumstances the Vortex is taking a gradual approach to re-opening and for the time being certain measures will remain in place, as set out in this document. In particular everyone (except those who are exempt) will be asked to continue wearing masks in the circumstances set out below and there will be reduced capacity in the upstairs club space, with a seated audience and table service.

All measures set out in this risk asssessment apply to both the downstairs bar and upstairs club space (unless it is clear from the context that they apply only to one or the other).


Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn at all times by everyone using any part of the premises, upstairs and downstairs, except that:

  • musicians do not need to wear a face covering whilst performing and
  • audience members do not need to wear a face covering whilst seated (but must wear one when going to the toilet or otherwise moving around in the building).

This does not apply to people who are exempt by law from the requirement to wear a face covering.


There will be a regular supply of hand sanitiser available at all times.

Automatic no-contact hand sanitiser dispensers are provided at various locations in the premises.

Prominent notices will be displayed encouraging the regular use of hand sanitiser and regular hand washing by all users of the premises.


Audiences and musicians will be informed via the website of the systems adopted by the club to deal with Covid-19 and what is expected of them (eg compliance with Test-and-Trace, hand sanitising, not to go to the club if experiencing Covid-type symptoms etc).

Clear notices will be put up at points of entry to the premises:

  • Instructing people not to enter if they have or may have Covid-type symptoms.
  • Asking people to use hand sanitiser on entry
  • Requesting that people wear a mask when moving around inside the building.



To mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19 upstairs the premises will be thoroughly cleaned before each use of the club, whether for a gig or a day hire.

A copy of the pre-gig cleaning instructions issued to night managers is included as an appendix to this risk assessment

During the evening there will be regular cleaning of frequently used surfaces including door handles, light switches, the stairwell banister, taps, bar surface and tables.

Any fliers left on tables will be binned at the end of the evening.

The downstairs bar will be thoroughly cleaned each day before opening and will be regularly cleaned during opening hours. In particular when a customer or group of customers leaves their table and chairs must be thoroughly cleaned before use by the next customer. Toilets will be cleaned regularly during opening hours.

NHS Test and Trace

On arrival all customers must either register using the NHS Test and Trace QR code or sign in manually.

The manual record will be kept securely for 21 days and will be destroyed as confidential waste at the end of 21 days. The manual record will not be left on public display. The data in the manual record will not be shared with anyone except NHS Test and Trace.

Upstairs gigs


For a transitional period the capacity of the club will be limited, initially to an audience of 30 per house. This will be kept under review and it is hoped that it will be possible to increase capacity soon.

Tickets (including members tickets) must be booked in advance via the website. There will be no door sales.

Audience members are to be seated (though not necessarily at a table), and will be expected to remain seated during the evening except when using the toilets. No standing will be permitted at gigs (including at the bar – see below).

Whilst capacity is restricted we regret that musicians cannot bring guests.

We will continue to have two houses per night.Doors will open for the first house at 7 with music at 7 30. There will be one set of one hour’s duration finishing promptly at 8 30. Doors will open for the second house at 9 with music at 9 30. There will be one set of one hour’s duration finishing at 10 30.

The premises will be cleaned between the two houses (as set out in the appendix).

Audiences will be asked to leave promptly once the performance has finished to allow the premises to be cleaned between houses and cleared at the end of the evening.


Windows will be left open to ventilate the premises for at least half an hour before doors open. They may have to be closed during the performance due to noise leakage. Windows will be opened between houses and after the end of the evening’s performances.

For health and safety reasons fire doors must not be left open.


Hand sanitiser will be provided outside toilets to be used before entering and exiting. Signage will be put up to this effect.

Posters will be displayed outside the toilets and in the toilets themselves giving guidance on correct handwashing procedures.

Toilets will be regularly cleaned during the evening.


There will be table service only.

All drinks are to be ordered and paid for using the Butlr app. In the event that a customer cannot use the Butlr app then payment will be taken by contactless card only. No cash will be taken.

No hot drinks will be available.

Bar staff will be wearing face masks. There will be one volunteer behind the bar pouring drinks and one volunteer in the club space serving drinks.

There will be no standing or  “hanging out” at or behind the bar.

There will be no merchandise sales at the bar.

If the till is to be used only the volunteer behind the bar should input data.

Gloves should be worn to collect glasses after the gig.

Bottled beer only – it will not be viable to sell draught beer as audience capacity will be insufficient to shift it before it goes off.

Sound engineers

The sound engineer will be responsible for cleaning equipment at the end of the gig.

Background music

People having to raise their voices increases the risk of aerosol transmission so background music will be kept very low to avoid this risk.

Office/Green Room

This room will continue to have a dual function. Musicians should use only the “sofa area” not the office area.

Staff can continue to work from home unless their work requires them to be on the premises. Staff meetings will continue to be conducted via Zoom.

The windows in the office should be kept open to maximise ventilation.

Downstairs bar

The outer doors will be opened for at least 15 minutes every hour to ventilate the premises (unless for weather or other reasons this is not reasonably practicable).

Background music will be kept very low to avoid people having to raise voices which increases the risk of transmission.


Reviewed and revised: July 2021

Vortex Jazz Club

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