Singing in church is no more dangerous than shouting in a pub, new study by Bristol Uni finds

Brendan McFadden
·2-min read
Singing in church is no more dangerous than shouting in a pub when it comes to spreading coronavirus. Stock photograph - BBC Pictures/BBC Pictures
Singing in church is no more dangerous than shouting in a pub when it comes to spreading coronavirus. Stock photograph - BBC Pictures/BBC Pictures

Singing in church is no more dangerous than shouting in a pub when it comes to spreading coronavirus, a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Bristol said speaking and singing generate similar amounts of tiny particles of liquid called aerosol droplets - which are thought to carry Covid-19- when sound volumes are the same.

They added that the amount of droplets rise as people speak or sing more loudly. And the team found the loudest level generated up to 30 times more aerosol mass than the lowest.

The results of the new study comes after the Government identified singing as a high-risk activity at the start of the pandemic.

Jonathan Reid, an expert in aerosol science at the University of Bristol and a corresponding author on the paper, said: "The study has shown the transmission of viruses in small aerosol particles generated when someone sings or speaks are equally possible with both activities generating similar numbers of particles.

"Our research has provided a rigorous scientific basis for Covid-19 recommendations for arts venues to operate safely for both the performers and audience by ensuring that spaces are appropriately ventilated to reduce the risk of airborne transmission."

Researchers say speaking and singing generate similar amounts of tiny particles of liquid called aerosol droplets - Victoria Jones/PA Wire/Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Researchers say speaking and singing generate similar amounts of tiny particles of liquid called aerosol droplets - Victoria Jones/PA Wire/Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The study found that aerial production was the same in males and females and also didn't vary when they sang different types of music such as choral, musical theatre, opera, jazz, gospel rock or pop.

Recent research suggests Covid-19 is transmitted through aerosol particles and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it could not rule out airborne transmission.

Last week the Government published new guidance, saying both professionals and non-professionals could engage in singing as of August 15, provided performers and audiences were following the guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.