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COVID-19 Good Practice Guide


Edit 29/05/2020 – Sources: CSFI – ITEMM – Makers – Ministère du Travail (French Ministry of Labour)

Maintain a minimum distance of 1.50 m between people at all times.

Wearing a mask is compulsory on public transport and is recommended for any movement inside the shop/workshop as soon as there are several people.

This guide brings together the recommendations necessary for the protection of employees, customer reception and proper handling of instruments, cases, accessories, packaging, tools… This guide does not pretend to give an answer in this first version to all problems brought by the coronavirus crisis in relation to musical instruments in shops or workshops. You should therefore regularly visit the dedicated page on the CSFI website, where the updated version of this guide will be available. Strictly respect the government COVID-secure standards to protect yourself and others from the virus and adjust your behaviour according to three main basic principles: PROTECT / INFORM / CLEAN


a/ Protecting employees before returning to work

  • Masks Provide each employee with 5 washable AFNOR standard masks (100 % cotton) or provide surgical masks EN 14683 // FFP2 masks. Maintenance will be the responsibility of the employees.
  • People at risk Check if you or your collaborators are people at risk if so, government recommendations apply.

b/ Measures at the workplace Inform and enforce COVID-secure standards

  • A distance of at least 1.50 m between people.
  • Limit the number of people present.
  • Limit discussions between people close to one another to 15 min maximum.
  • Regular hand washing and disinfection.
  • Limit projection during sneezing.
  • If possible, wear a mask unless working in isolation.
  • Any movement in the shop or workshop requires wearing a mask. First, if possible, eliminate the use of collective machines Coffee machines, water fountains, kettles, microwaves, refrigerators, or provide equipment (wipes, spray, gloves…) to clean them before and after each use. An individual thermos can be authorised. Do not hesitate to make kind and protective reminders because habits and automatic gestures are hard to change. Depending on your company organisation you can set up or give preference to staggered work hours. Temperature measurement: it is not compulsory and is not recorded
  • On arrival at the workplace: taking employees’ temperature helps reassure all the staff working together every day.
  • Temperature can be taken with a forehead infrared thermometer.
  • An employee who displays 38°C or more is considered feverish and must not come to work. He/she is advised to immediately consult a doctor (video consultation possible) who will decide to put him on sick leave or not. 4 Edit 29/05/2020 On arrival, each member of staff must: Wear a mask // Wash hands (soap or hydro-alcoholic gel) // Clean his/her workstation and equipment. Lunch break: If lunch is taken on-site, respect COVID-secure standards. Depending on space, stagger staff lunch breaks, authorise lunches on workstations… Recommend cold dishes so as not to use the microwave. If you have a kitchen or dining room, limit the number of people (based on 4 m2 per person) and check the thorough cleaning after use.


a/ Cleaning

  • Thoroughly clean the shop. Rethink work and reception areas as best as possible, to respect the distance measures and management of people’s movement (staff and customers).
  • To limit the risk of contact with contaminated surfaces, in addition to the usual cleaning of premises, more frequent and daily cleaning of surfaces in contact with hands is recommended (convivial spaces, stairways, door handles, switches, toilets, chairs armrests, chairs, various keyboards, computers, tablets, terminals, counters, cash desks…).
  • Provide household wipes, cloths to be impregnated with a disinfectant detergent solution or household products compatible with the surfaces to be cleaned. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) at a minimum concentration of 0.5 %. Disinfectant products meeting the standard EN 14476 (Sanytol®, Sani-Cloth®…).
  • Dedicate a specific COVID bin to collect wipes used for cleaning.
  • Remove magazines, posters and documents that could be touched by several people.
  • Make workstations as sober as possible to facilitate cleaning (remove personal items).
  • Do not vacuum the floors, except after leaving the premises unoccupied for a long time. In this case, equip the device with HEPA filters.
  • Ventilate widely and frequently.

b/ Protective measures

  • Install post protections: plexiglass windows.
  • Equip staff with masks with visors EN 166 covering the whole face (recommended for people in checkout in particular).
  • Equip the shop with contactless bank card payment. Clean / disinfect the scanner and the credit card keypad regularly or apply a transparent film that you will change every 4 hours.
  • Mark the floor with tape to materialise distances (at least 1.50 m), for reception and movement of customers and staff.
  • Remove any baskets.

c/ Warehouse or receiving and shipping goods

  • Receive packages with gloves and mask.
  • No physical contact when handing products over.
  • It is recommended to leave packages at rest without contact (outdoors if possible) for 6 to 9 days.
  • Clean the package with a disinfectant solution and discard the packaging in the COVID dedicated bin. For shipping, prepare with disinfected hands and package the instruments or accessories individually. In the package add a written reminder of the general measures recommended in the health precautions guide available in your country.

d/ Signage Outdoor

  • Install a sign at the entrance of the shop with all the information useful to customers (reminder of the instructions, service organisation, queuing rules, payment methods, goods collection, the possibility of placing orders by phone with collection by appointment).
  • Where necessary indicate: new opening times; telephone number to encourage visits on appointment; using a mask indoors or not (left to the shop discretion); the number of customers authorised at the same time in the shop (recommendation 1 customer for 15 m2, or members of the same household).
  • Establish, with the approval of the local authority, a marking on the street floor favouring 1.50 m between everyone. Indoors
  • Instructions for respecting COVID-secure standards and washing hands must be placed repeatedly in the various places accessible by customers and staff.

e/ Instruments

  • Thoroughly clean exhibited instruments, first wiping them with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Repeat the cleaning each time the instrument is handled. (see specific recommendations if the instrument is played, depending on the musical families).
  • If necessary, limit repetitive access and handling of products by customers by placing a transparent film in front of the shelf or displaying them in a close glass cupboard.
  • You can also limit the number of everyday products on the shelves to one or two, the rest being available in the shop store-room and handed out at the point of sale (thus limiting the number of products to be cleaned several times a day).

1/ Protection

The entrance of a new person Customers entering the store/workshop must disinfect/wash their hands as soon as they enter. They must wear a mask. If they are not wearing a mask, either offer them a disposable mask or keep 1.50 m between people. Stay vigilant, encourage benevolence, and provide the necessary equipment. Favour the reception of musicians/customers by appointment.

In the instance of choosing and therefore testing an instrument, a recommendation will be made rapidly as soon as the instrument cleaning protocols are validated by experts.

Encourage card and contactless payment. In case of cash payment, avoid handling and put a receptacle for exchanging notes and coins.

Refrain the use of plastic bags and other packaging given to the customer when purchasing. Encourage customers to come with their own bag.


For the shop

Clean, disinfect and store according to the recommendations above.

If you are shipping your instruments or accessories to your client, recommend that they follow the general measures recommended in the health precautions guide available in your country.

For the customer Give customers the main recommendations for returning home:

  • Wash hands as soon as you get home.
  • Disinfect packaging, cases, accessories… before handling them.
  • Leave the product you just bought in a clean, dry place for 6 to 9 days before using it.
  • Do not lend your musical instrument or its accessories.

The virus responsible for COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, is an envelope coronavirus belonging to the same family as SARS-COV-1, which was responsible for the epidemic of SARS in 2003. Much of the work is based on knowledge of SARS-COV-1 until new studies increase the level of knowledge on SARS-COV-2.

On the basis of current knowledge, from the point of view of both the functioning of musical instruments and the scientific measurements which have been carried out, there is no reason to affirm that playing an instrument spreads more virus than simply speaking or coughing.

The particles emitted in droplets are heavier than air and fall to the ground, it is usually those that are responsible for the spread of the virus. When present on a surface, they do not spontaneously return to the air but remain on the surface, so it should be cleaned. The viruses emitted, if they are surrounded by proteins, a biofilm or humidity, will survive longer because they will have a protective layer on their envelope.

The virus or its RNA traces may still be present but deactivated, which makes it harmless. The relevant tests for musical instruments and their accessories are therefore those that measure the virus activity after surface treatment. These are expensive and require an incompressible time to produce.

The aerosols emitted by playing a wind instrument, like those emitted by speaking or singing, are not yet really known. This subject is under study.


Different terms must be defined:

  • Cleaning: use a method with or without products to remove residues, moisture, and grease, and slightly reduce the virus concentration.
  • Disinfection: decrease by a high factor the virus concentration, necessary for the instruments, and especially tools or accessories in contact with hands and mouth.
  • Sterilization: strongly reduce the virus concentration with heavy methods, well below the dose considered as pathogenic (rather in the hospital environment, this is not the objective for musical instruments).

In all cases, it is important to clean an instrument/accessory before disinfecting it, with a dry cloth or soaked with the product when possible. The disinfection phase will be more effective with prior cleaning.

To characterize the virus content of an object (surface, volume), virology researchers’ reason in terms of pathogen concentration per unit of volume. Generally, the number of copies (here virus) per millilitre (ml) is considered.

Currently, it is estimated that a maximum rate of up to 10 million (107) copies per millilitre can be found in the droplets emitted by a person affected by COVID 19, which is a high estimate. Virus contamination can occur when a concentration is around ten viruses per ml.

It is, therefore, necessary to favour treatments which will deactivate the maximum percentage of virus compared to the initial quantity, when possible. It is therefore difficult to guarantee that a process is complete and ensures absolute protection (0 active viruses per ml), but we draw attention to the fact that not all products and methods are created equal.


The products mainly recommended by the health authorities are (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl) over 70 %.
  • Bleach at a concentration of over 0.5 %.
  • Products according to standard EN 144761 (check the active agent): Sanytol®, Sani-Cloth®, spray and disinfectant wipes.
  • 3 % hydrogen peroxide.

The 14476 standard disinfectant products available in shops get the label when they destroy 99.99 % of viruses, a division by 10 000 compared to the initial quantity, under the recommended conditions of use. The value is equivalent for alcohol or bleach.

In all cases, it is important to clean, with a dry cloth or one soaked in the product when possible, before disinfecting an instrument/accessory. The disinfection phase will be more effective with prior cleaning, which will first reduce the virus concentration.

Rubbing with a dry cloth (mechanical cleaning) or with soapy water has an impact on the virus concentration, but it will be less than the use of the previously described products, which are preferred whenever possible. In all cases, the material used for cleaning, such as cloth, must also be either disinfected with an effective product or thrown into an airtight container or washed at over 60°C for more than 30 minutes.

Regarding quarantine, which is an important solution because it is not harmful to the instruments, the time required is complicated to estimate, because depending on the surfaces, the presence of proteins, the humidity and the initial quantity, the concentration at the end of the quarantine may vary. Priority should be given to the most favourable cases for a decrease in concentration.

The longer the quarantine, the lower the active virus concentration will be. On a surface it is not proven that a 6-day period is acceptable, this extends to 9 days in the presence of moisture.

Therefore, it is important to clean with a dry cloth or one soaked in alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, when possible, in addition to quarantine.

Please note, the recommended treatments are not guaranteeing that the virus is no longer present or contagious, nor the contrary; they are mainly an inventory of techniques based on current scientific knowledge (and evolving).

It must then be ensured that each of the products does not damage the instrument or its coating. For this, additional documents per instrument will be proposed, including a complete protocol.

  • Some heat treatments are being validated, but they will be applicable mainly to brass instruments.
  • Ultraviolet (UV-C) treatments are to be used with extreme care as they are harmful to the skin. These are not a guarantee of full effectiveness, especially when areas cannot be lit properly. It is important to consider the wavelength of the UV-C lamp, its power, its distance, and the duration of exposure.
  • Treatment with ozone in the air is dangerous because it is both harmful to the pulmonary tract and explosive. It is a method to handle with extreme caution, which can deactivate the virus without contact.


We remind you that it is essential to check before treatment the compatibility of products and methods with your instruments and their varnishes. It is important that everyone inquires to know the nature of the varnishes of their instruments. If doubt persists, favour a dry cleaning with quarantine, taking care to disinfect the cloth between each instrument.

Be careful not to use the same cloth several times in the absence of disinfectant.

Here is a first compatibility list by families, based on a collection of information from instrument manufacturers. If some products do not appear, it is not because they are not compatible but because we did not have the information at the time of writing this document.

Please note: some products are compatible based on odd tests, and until proven otherwise. For long term use, we invite you to be concerned about the evolution of the instrument. Take a test on a sample or on a hidden part.

Additional information will be provided later in the documents annexed by instrument or supplied by the manufacturers for specific cases of varnish. 

Polyester Alcohol, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide, EN 14476 standard Acetone, ethers
Polyurethane acrylic Alcohol, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide, EN 14476 standard Acetone, ethers
Polyurethane Alcohol, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide, EN 14476 standard Acetone, ethers
Shellac, benzoin, sandarac, elemi, rosin Waiting for validation Alcohol, acetone, ether, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, beware of water which can whiten it, naphtha
Nitrocellulose Waiting for validation Alcohol, acetone, ether, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, naphtha, turpentine
Oil (linseed, almond) Waiting for validation Alcohol, acetone, ether, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, naphtha, turpentine
Beeswax Waiting for validation Alcohol, acetone, ether, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, naphtha, turpentine
Plastic coatings: to be specified because very variable Hydrogen peroxide Acetone, ether, alcohol
Raw tropical wood Sanytol®, alcohol Sani-Cloth®, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide
Raw temperate wood Sanytol®, alcohol Sani-Cloth®, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide
Stained tropical wood 3 % hydrogen peroxide (10 vol.) Sani-Cloth®, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide, alcohol
Stained temperate wood 3 % hydrogen peroxide (10 vol.) Sani-Cloth®, bleach, 3 % hydrogen peroxide, alcohol
Metal alloys Alcohol





ACTION Objects/Surface Target Recipients Means Done






Floor Bleach for tiled surfaces or EN 14476 standard disinfectant (vacuum cleaner only if equipped with a HEPA filter)
Toilets EN 14476 standard disinfectant
Door handles EN 14476 standard disinfectant
Switches EN 14476 standard disinfectant
Handrails/bannisters EN 14476 standard disinfectant
Counter EN 14476 standard disinfectant
IT devices/peripherals Suitable disinfectant (see manufacturer’s recommendations)
PDQ – card machine Suitable disinfectant (see manufacturer’s recommendations)
Instruments See page 8








Distancing measures Floor stickers
Counter Plexiglass (previously disinfected with EN 14476 standard disinfectant)
PDQ – card machine Apply plastic protection to the keyboard
Directional markings Waiting area, entry/exit
Playing room With window (previously cleaned)
Hydroalcoholic gel For employees At the counter
For customers At the entrance
Masks For employees At the counter
For customers At the entrance
Wipes Impregnated with disinfectant solution EN 14476 standards
COVID trash can Remember to mark it / prepare it and empty it with gloves
Leaflets/magazines Remove
Baskets Remove
Gloves Employees retrieving packages, stocking musical instruments/accessories



For employees Covid trash, masks, gloves, gel, all measures taken
For customers Outdoor signage: safety measures, company hours, by appointment
Safe distancing floor markings
Providers Delivery procedure








Door handles
IT devices and peripherals
PDQ – card machine
Playing room





Directional markings Floor adhesives (check condition, replace case if applicable)
Counter Plexiglass and counter to disinfect with EN 14476 standard
PDQ – card machine Replace protective plastic
Hydroalcoholic gel For employees Check the level and replenish if necessary
For customers
Wipes Check the level and replenish if necessary
COVID trash can To empty with gloves
Gloves Check the level and replenish if necessary