Museums and galleries can open in Prague and other regions from May 3

The government has approved the reopening of museums, galleries, and heritage sites in six out of the Czech Republic's 14 regions.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 30.04.2021 07:44 (updated on 30.04.2021)

Prague, April 29 (CTK) - Museums, galleries, and heritage sites can open in six out of the Czech Republic's 14 regions and in the capital as of May 3 under strict sanitary conditions, the cabinet decided today based on the favorable epidemiological situation in the given regions.

On Monday, the cabinet gave the green light to the reopening of cultural institutions in the Karlovy Vary, Pilsen (both west Bohemia), and Hradec Králové (east Bohemia) regions. On Thursday it approved the reopening in Prague and the regions of Central Bohemia, Liberec (north Bohemia), and Pardubice (east Bohemia).

These institutions can admit a limited number of visitors that do not exceed one person per 15 square meters. People must observe social distancing and wear a respirator. Group tours are not allowed.

The government has said that there are no plans to open other cultural venues to spectators in the near future.

Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said outdoor performances could resume as of the end of May or June, but theaters' indoor premises are unlikely to reopen by the end of June, which is the end of the theater season.

 Zaorálek said he could not imagine all spectators undergoing Covid testing prior to being admitted to a cultural event. Moreover, the state likely would not be able to cover the tests costs for the events' organizers, he said.

A pilot project for reopening cultural events with spectators will be the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's concert on May 10. Thanks to a sponsor, the orchestra has acquired PCR tests for audience members to undergo upon entry. The concert will be held under strict sanitary conditions and for a limited number of spectators, Zaorálek said.

Another pilot project is the opening of 10-percent capacity of football stadium stands to spectators.

Health Minister Petr Arenberger said following Thursday's cabinet meeting that the pilot projects include not only the testing of spectators but also their monitoring for a certain time following the event.

"Through this project, we want to monitor whether such a gathering poses a risk and if this method can be further applied. For cultural events, it will be more difficult, since a 10-percent capacity of a venue is not enough, so we will discuss a 50-percent capacity limit in their case, which we consider a much higher risk," Arenberger said.

"On the other hand, if these are subdued events such as a visit to a symphonic orchestra's [concert], the defined sanitary measures should be sufficient, but it is still in the testing phases for now," Arenberger said.

The partial reopening of culture comes with the gradual relaxation of restrictions by the government in reaction to the subsiding coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic.

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