Keep quiet to keep safe!

Noise Control and Coronavirus, why it's important to keep the noise down in pubs, restaurants

The UK Government updated its Coronavirus Regulations (28/02/20) to include noise restrictions in bars, clubs and restaurants.  Whereby "a person responsible for carrying on a business of a public house, café, restaurant or bar (including a bar in a hotel or members’ club) must, during the emergency period, ensure that no music is played on the premises which exceeds 85db(A) when measured at the source of the music". These restrictions also cover noise generated from singing."

The risk of virus transmission is increased when people in close proximity to each other speak at a higher volume. As noise levels in venues increase, so does the need for people to speak louder for conversations to compensate.

Research has emerged that suggests that Covid-19 can be passed through droplets in the air, known as aerosols, as well as droplets that are touched once they’ve fallen onto a surface, such as a table in a restaurant. 

A recent study that was carried out by the University of Bristol, found that the volume of the voice had the largest impact on the amount of aerosol a person produced, suggesting that a person that was singing or shouting at a loud level could generate 30 times more aerosol than a person who was speaking at a lower level.

Basically, the louder a person speaks, the more aerosols and droplets that person is likely to produce, therefore increasing the risk of virus transmission. 

Noise control in pubs and restaurantsBut how loud is too loud?

To ensure you’re limiting the risk of transmission when speaking to friends in any environment, it is important to keep your voice at a standard or low speaking level. 

For example, if we look at this noise measurement, which was taken in a generic pizza restaurant on Saturday 22 August, between 20:30 and 21:30, we can see that the noise level is averaging over 85dB(A). You might think this isn’t too bad, but that’s about the same level as a noisy factory! 

At this level, it becomes difficult to hear the conversation between you and the person across the table, or sitting directly next to you, meaning you’d have to lean closer to the person talking and raise your own voice to talk back, thus increasing the risk of virus transmission.

Noise control warning signStay safe with the SafeEar Noise Control Sign

The SafeEar Noise Control Sign can help you to keep yourself, your employees and your customers safe and alert during this difficult time. 

This sign lights up when noise levels go above a pre-set decibel level to warn when noise levels are too high which means there is a likelihood that people will need to shout to be heard. 

This device is quick and easy to install, and the warning light trigger level can be adjusted to suit the needs of your establishment. 

The SafeEar Noise Control Sign is ideal for use in pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, leisure and entertainment spaces, places of worship, schools, universities, and other public buildings. 

Find out more about the SafeEar Noise Control Sign

Other measurements instruments for coronavirus compliance