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New Plan for Living with COVID-19

Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19, a new risk management strategy, has been released by the Department of the Taoiseach. What does it mean for Theatre?
Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19, a new risk management strategy, has been released by the Department of the Taoiseach.

Earlier today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin released a new 5-level strategy for living with COVID-19; this replaces the Roadmap for Reopening which expired in August.

Under the new plan, each of the five levels contains a “basket” of measures which ‘do not comprise a list of activities or places which are equally safe’ but rather is a collection of measures ‘intended, collectively, to contribute to lowering risk of transmission in alignment with the risk level at that time’.

In a press briefing earlier this afternoon, Martin stated, ‘effectively Dublin is on Level 2 with some modifications’. The rest of the country is also on Level 2, though the additional restrictions in the capital around pubs and do not apply.

Sports, Arts and other social activities are central to our well-being. Physical activity and creativity build our resilience. Sports and Arts are also the world of work for our many in our communities. We want to support physical activity, cultural events and participation in other controlled social events (e.g. religious services) as part of a response to mental strain that many people are experiencing.

Under the Level 2 restrictions, organised indoor and outdoor events have new capacity guidelines.

Indoor events in theatres, cinemas, and other Arts events (excluding sport) are permitted ‘up to 50 patrons and in pods/groups of up to 6 if appropriate’ and ‘up to 100 patrons permitted for larger venues where strict 2 metre seated social distancing and one-way controls for entry and exit can be implemented’.

Specific guidance for larger, purpose built event facilities such as stadia and auditoriums, will be developed ‘within the relevant sectors to take account of size and different conditions for larger events’.

Organised outdoor events are permitted ‘up to 100 patrons for majority of venues’ and ‘up to 200 patrons for outdoor stadia or other fixed outdoor venues with a minimum accredited capacity of 5,000’.

Under Level 3, however, no organised indoor gatherings would be permitted to take place while organised outdoor gatherings would be limited to a maximum of 15 people.

According to reports from RTE News, ‘The exemption allowing a maximum number of 200 people at certain outdoor venues with a 5,000 capacity will not yet apply in Dublin.’ Elsewhere in the country, pubs not serving food — ‘wet’ pubs — will be allowed to reopen from 21 September.

In Dublin, no more than two households can meet at one time. Here in the capital, up to six people from a single household will be able to visit another person’s home, while the rest of the country can welcome up to six people from up to three households.

The National Campaign for the Arts was in attendance of a briefing from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for artists, arts workers, and arts organisations; we will continue to report on the new Plan for Living with COVID-19 as it develops.

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