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Noise Control and Coronavirus

Why it’s important to keep the noise down in pubs and restaurants

A recent article (28/02/20) references the UK Government’s Coronavirus Regulations, including noise restrictions for bars, clubs, and restaurants.

The regulations state that “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 exceed 85db(A) when measured at the source of the music”. These restrictions also cover noise generated from singing.

So why are these regulations so concerned about noise from such venues?

Noise regulation implications for Australian hospitality venues

We know that the risk of coronavirus transmission increases when people close to each other speak at a higher volume. And as noise levels in venues increase, so does the need for people to have louder conversations to compensate.

New research suggests that Covid-19 is transmitted through droplets in the air, known as aerosols. These droplets remain infectious if they are touched once they’ve fallen onto a surface, such as a restaurant table.

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

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

That’s why noise control solutions are so critical for your hospitality venue.

Why simple decibel levels aren’t the only problem for coronavirus transmission

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

For example, the noise level at a local cafe is averaging over 85dB(A). While this decibel level is acceptable, remember that noise breeds noise!

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

We could not yet locate an equivalent Australian regulation. However, we are confident that there either is one, or there will be one very soon.

Noise solutions for the hospitality industry

The good news for people in the hospitality industry is Avenue Interior Systems has noise control solutions to help you keep noise at bay at your venue. You will be reducing the need for your guests to raise their voices in a conversation.

Some solutions you may find beneficial for your venue include:

Calando Panels and Calando One – Useful for ceilings and wall noise absorption, Calando and Calando One panels are fully customisable.

ECO Wall – As its name suggests, ECO Wall is ideal for noise control on your venue walls. You can select a non-obtrusive colour or choose colours that match your company’s branding – the options are almost endless.

Find out more about avoiding health problems from noise

To stay a step ahead of incoming Australian noise regulations, speak to the experts at Avenue Interior Systems.