Members meeting

Updated 20 August 

Government guidance 

The guidance and numbers information in the Updated Information Note regarding restrictions under the Government’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Path Ahead on the Department’s website remain in place.Keep in mind that parts of the guidance developed for the sector are now out of date or have been superseded by more recent protocols and legislation. Theatre Forum will revise its Reopening Arts Centres and Safe Creation of Work guidelines in the coming weeks. We understand that the Arts Council guidance on children and young people’s arts and cultural activities and the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland guidelines for the Safe Presentation of Festivals and Live Events are being updated too. The key change for the next edition of these guidelines is that they will not duplicate the information already contained in the HSE Work Safely Protocol.

HSE Work Safely Protocol

For all arts companies with employees, the HSE Work Safely Protocol contains the current advice on the Public Health measures needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. Note additions to June 2021 edition including guidance on ventilation and vaccinations as part of the range of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how to approach the use of antigen testing in the workplace.

Indoor and Outdoor Arts Events – Update
27 July 2021

We were expecting an update at this time on indoor arts events that are not performances by professional artists and companies such as amateur and youth productions. Unfortunately, we’ve clarified this morning with the Department that indoor activities, such as organised events including summer camps, group training, exercise, dance and indoor arts/cultural classes are still not permitted at present. We have not been given a new date for review but will continue to connect with the Department and will let you know as soon as we hear any updates.

Theatres (and cinemas) – performances and screenings
Current legislation and guidelines allow arts events that are performances to take place in indoor theatre spaces that are controlled environments with fixed seating, are ticketed events with audiences socially distanced and adhering to all the Covid public health audience number guidelines.

As per Government advice.
Theatres and cinemas indoors: Remains at 50 people.
Organised outdoor events: 200 people; 500 in venues/stadia with a capacity of 5,000+

Arts Centre theatre cafés and bars
In relation to serving alcohol, if you are operating a café or bar, you are subject to regulation 13 (for outdoor service) and new regulations being made under the Health (Amendment)(No. 2) Act 2021 (for indoor service). Fáilte Ireland have guidelines for outdoor and indoor service.It is not currently legal for a patron at a theatre to buy alcohol at the bar and take it to their seat. If a café/bar wishes to operate under the new indoor hospitality provisions, they will have to comply with all of the requirements including with respect to point of entry verification of vaccine status.  Where a patron is attending a performance, subject to the capacity limit of 50 and our guidelines, there is no requirement for verification of vaccine status.

Photo Credit ©Ste Murray