Authorities in Hong Kong have announced that live music, theatre and other performances can resume from October 1 with social distancing in place.
The South China Morning Post reports that venues will be able to reopen following the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is the second biggest traditional Chinese holiday after Chinese New Year. However, venues will only be allowed to be half-full and will require spacing between performers and the audience.
Most social-distancing measures, including limiting the number of people allowed to dine out together or gather in public to four, would remain in place until October 1, the date of the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, the city’s leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday.
Most leisure venues, such as bars and theme parks, were given the green light to reopen last Friday, subject to conditions to curb the spread of the virus.
It was announced this week that Hong Kong Disneyland will reopen from tomorrow (Friday) following a second closure in July as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Guests will be expected to adhere to strict health and safety procedures that have been implemented at the park.
A limited number of guests will be allowed into the park to enable social distancing to take place and visitors will also be asked to undertake a health screening, a temperature check and will be expected to wear face masks.
Lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok, representing the sports, performing arts, culture and publication functional constituency, said the government’s announcement would not be able to save the struggling sector.
“Many performers had zero income for months due to the closure of the venues. The markets are yet to warm up to online performances,” he said, according to the South China Morning Post.
“And no one knows how long the new rule will last, if unfortunately, a fourth wave of Covid-19 strikes the city.
“We are not like cinemas who can just reopen tomorrow. We need to set the stage, lighting and acoustics, promote the events, do ticketing and many other things, before a show can be held.”