Cultural performances permitted in the Czech Republic from Monday, but without spectators

Theater and music performances can take place in the Czech Republic from Monday, but audiences must view them remotely

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 22.11.2020 07:00 (updated on 22.11.2020)

Prague, Nov 21 (CTK) - Theater and music productions can be staged, recorded and streamed as of Monday once again with the switch to a lower COVID-19 alert level, Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has confirmed.

Theaters, concert halls, museums and galleries must remain closed to the public after the Czech Republic switches from the fifth (highest) alert level to the fourth level from Monday.

But cultural performances will be permitted to be staged as long as they don't have an audience present, the government has decided.

Galleries and museums will only be able to partially open, to one-quarter of their capacities of visitors, if the country switches to the third alert level.

Theaters, cinemas, and concert halls will only be able to open to audiences at the second alert level, according to the government's anti-epidemic PES system.

The cabinet's decision annuls the "ban on cultural events" but introduces "a ban on audiences" that has bewildered many.

"The formally-formulated and possibly absurd-sounding sentence from yesterday's government resolution means only one thing: music, theater and other artistic performances can be recorded and streamed as of Monday, but people still have to wait before being able to visit theaters, concerts, etc.," Zaorálek (Social Democrats, CSSD) wrote.

National Theatre (ND) spokesman Tomáš Staněk told CTK that Monday's switch to the fourth alert level means no change for ND.

"In reaction to Thursday's extension of the national state of emergency, the ND has cancelled all performances until December 14," Staněk said.

Partly complying with the government's request, Czech parliament prolonged the current state of emergency on Thursday, which enables the government's anti-virus restrictions, until December 12.

"We have transferred our activities on-line," Stanek said, adding that the ND plans to stream the closing nights of their drama group's performances and a pre-Christmas live transmission of a ballet performance.

Many theaters had already suspended their seasons before the government introduced the new PES alert system and its corresponding measures last week. Many of them plan to reopen no sooner than next year, even if the restrictions forcing their closure would be eased earlier.

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Local theaters still keep in contact with viewers via the Dramox platform, which offers paid recordings of theater performances. Some theaters have also joined Nazivo, a new TV channel supported by the Culture Ministry, which has been broadcasting theater and music productions.