Taiwan will lower its Level 3 COVID-19 epidemic control restrictions to Level 2, and further ease the restrictions starting July 27. In response, Ministry of Culture announced its plans to ease the restrictions for performance venues while maintaining preventive measures.
Under Level 2 alert restrictions, the operators of performance venues are required to arrange alternate seating arrangements or seat gaps in between parties to maintain social distancing; the maximum number of visitors should not exceed 100 per hour; outdoor activities, performance or worship services are allowed; performers who have done a rapid test, PCR test or received COVID-19 vaccination for more than 14 days can remove their masks temporarily during the performance.
From July 27 onwards, the performance venues will be able to reopen with preventive measures in place, which include social distancing and placing seat gaps between parties (with exceptions for audiences who attended the event together); front row section will not be available for seating, the distance between the first row of audiences and the performance area should be at least 3 meters; the working space for performers and staffs should be separated from the audiences.
As for performing arts performances, worship performances and film production, performers who have done a rapid test, PCR test or received COVID-19 vaccination for more than 14 days, should arrange for a rapid test every 7 days. These performers are allowed to remove their masks temporarily during the performance.
Exhibition venues will maintain appointment-based visits, with on-site registration. The number of visitors allowed will be based on the calculation of maintaining 1.5 meters between each person within the space, and with no limit of 100 visitors per session. Group reservations are allowed, with a maximum of 50 person per session, and seat gaps should be placed between parties or maintain social distancing of 1.5 meters in indoor spaces and 1 meter in outdoor spaces.
Moreover, management measures such as outdoor activities, performances and worship services will be increased, including planning restricted areas, entry and exit routes, as well as the establishment of a conduct name registration mechanism at entrances.
For those with fixed seats, spacing, checkerboard seating, and arrangements with appropriate distancing will be implemented, while those without fixed seats will need to maintain a social distance of one meter. Outdoor activities of more than 250 people will need to have their pandemic prevention proposed measures approved by the local government.
The Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te called for measures such as wearing masks, measuring body temperature, disinfecting the environment, implementing systems, maintaining social distancing, and crowd control despite downgrading the epidemic alert to Level 2.
Minister Lee Yung-te emphasized that in order to ensure that "artistic talents will not be lost and creative work will not be interrupted,” MOC is also actively planning an "improvement and research upgrade plan" for the arts and cultural industry. The MOC will also assist various arts and cultural industries to improve their professional capabilities in practice through personnel training, creation, production, research and development, digital integration and marketing. Moreover, it will launch “Online Ticket Sales and Live Performance Experimental Project” to help arts and cultural exhibitions proceed both physically and virtually. MOC expects to announce relevant plans in early August.
The MOC looks forward to rigorous pandemic prevention, active relief, as well as working with the public to help arts and cultural teams return to the spotlight and the diverse and rich art scene.