Commission guidelines for a safe reopening of the cultural sector
1 July 2021
[PRESS RELEASE – BRUSSELS, 29 JUNE 2021]
On 29 June, the Commission published EU guidelines to ensure the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sectors across the EU. At a time when the epidemiological situation is improving and vaccination campaigns are speeding up, Member States are gradually reopening cultural venues and activities. Today's guidelines aim to provide a coordinated approach in line with the specific national, regional and local conditions. They are expected to guide the design and implementation of measures and protocols in EU countries to cover both the safe reopening as well as the sustainable recovery in the cultural and creative sectors.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said: "The cultural and creative industries and sectors have paid a heavy toll since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, the crisis highlighted their importance for our society and economy. With the increased vaccine uptake, gradual lifting of restrictions, including in the field of culture is taking place. The aim of these guidelines is to facilitate coordination of Member States' measures at EU level. Simultaneously, a safe re-opening of cultural settings should go hand in hand with a range of actions to ensure the sustainable recovery and resilience of the entire sector.”
More specifically, the guidelines recommend the following measures and protocols:
- The lifting of all restrictions should be strategic and gradual, with a restricted number of participants at the beginning to assess the epidemiological situation;
- Cultural establishments should have a preparedness plan detailing protocols of actions when COVID-19 cases are detected;
- Targeted information and/or ad-hoc training should be made available for all staff in cultural establishments to minimise risks of infection;
- Vaccination of persons working in cultural settings should be promoted to ensure their and the public's protection;
- Participants can be asked proof of negative COVID-19 test and/or vaccination and/or COVID-19 diagnosis in order to be admitted to the venue. Depending on the local circulation of variants, this requirement can be extended to fully vaccinated individuals;
- Establishments should ensure that the contact details of the audiences are available in case they are needed for contact tracing;
- The establishment should put in place targeted protective measures: maintaining social distancing whenever possible, clean and accessible hand-washing facilities, appropriate ventilation, and frequent cleaning of surfaces. The use of facemasks by attendees is an important complementary measure.
A range of actions to ensure the sustainable recovery of the entire sector should accompany the reopening of cultural venues. Actions at EU level complement those taken by Member States and by the sectors.
Member States are invited to take full advantage of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to invest broadly in the sectors and increase their capacity to adapt to new trends and emerge from the crisis.
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