The Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, in full collaboration with Arts Council Malta, is publishing the COVID-19 transition guidelines for artistic productions that will be staged in established public and private indoor and outdoor theatres and performance spaces.
The objective of these guidelines is to promote safe working practices for theatre management, producers, crews and artists, as well as to safeguard the wellbeing of patrons whilst taking into consideration the artistic and financial aspects of the cultural production in question.
“These guidelines shall ensure that our theatres adopt the adequate mechanisms to control the risks of exposure of COVID-19,” stated Minister Herrera, outlining that the Ministry and Arts Council Malta have, over the past months, kept in constant contact with various artists and the Health Authorities in order to ensure that the guidelines that are being issued strike the right balance between health regulations and the artistic and economic survival of our theatres.
Arts Council’s chairman Albert Marshall said that it is vital that our theatres, indoors and outdoors, public and private, open their doors to start welcoming their patrons back after the lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19. “Performing arts, including playhouses and open performance spaces, together with performers and all personnel who form the theatre community, have gone through hard times during the pandemic months. We have revised rules and regulations to ensure that producers are offered conditions that better respect the logistic and financial aspects of theatre-making”.
Producers are expected to take care of the health, safety and welfare of performers and crews, and all other staff. These considerations also include contractors and delivery persons, as well as our audiences.
These guidelines provide generic considerations that theatre management and producers must abide to when deciding to stage public performances. Social distancing, the adequacy of facilities for proper personal and public hygiene, cleaning arrangements, and other changes that may affect the health and safety of the audiences and performers are part of the list of revised rules and regulations that will be governing the performing arts with immediate effect.
ACM, in collaboration with the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, has set up the COVID-19 Transition Arts Advisory Group, to act as a point of reference to ensure a successful transition via the establishment of a strong camaraderie network and knowledge sharing unit, thus aiming to identify issues as they may arise, discover solutions and provide guidance, whilst creating a balance between optimising operations and keeping people safe.