A new study has suggested that a ban on indoor singing within church congregations and in choirs during the Covid 19 pandemic was based on misleading evidence.
The reason for the ban which applied in most countries, was based on a choir rehearsal that took place in March 2020 with the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, in a Washington Presbyterian Church, in which 52 of the 61 attendees became infected with coronavirus,
A later investigation however by Skagit County Public Health officials shed new information that a single chorister, who turned up to the 2020 rehearsal with symptoms and later tested positive for the virus was more likely to have come from an infected community and was a single source of the virus.
A review of this new information by Brunel University, Nottingham Trent University and Brighton and Sussex Medical School concluded that many of the choristers' symptoms started too early to be caused by the rehearsal.
Brunel University London's Dr Colin Axon spoke to Premier and said he believes the global bans were unnecessary.
"I can see why there was caution, but I think it was overcautious, and I don't think it was necessary. The value of people getting together and singing was completely forgotten about.
"Masks are also not effective in church settings, there is no more scientific evidence that they work, these things together created that fear in people, which was unfounded, unjustified.
"People do not need to be fearful because the effect on people's health of socialising with other people, whether it's in a church setting or choir or anything else, it's the social interaction that is important that people need, and that has a significant effect upon someone's health."