Argentina’s government has approved sanitary protocols that will allow theatres to reopen soon, Culture Minister Tristán Bauer has confirmed.
Entertainment venues have been closed across the country since March 20, when strict restrictions were first imposed to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in Argentina.
No date was given for the potential reopening, with the national government saying that each local jurisdiction would decide, depending on the evolution of the virus. Each provincial government will be in charge of ensuring theatre-goers and performers comply with protocols, said Bauer.
"In theatres, you have to restrict the capacity of the hall and take into account ventilation and sanitation. Ventilation is recommended and not air-conditioning and each jurisdiction has to be in charge of carrying out controls," he said on Tuesday.
According to a statement issued later by the Culture Ministry, the health measures “seek to guarantee the safety of both actresses and actors, as well as workers and the general public."
Calls from the entertainment industry to loosen restrictions on venues have been increasing in recent weeks. On Monday, performers, directors and theatre workers demonstrated in downtown Buenos Aires, flooding Avenida Corrientes to call for shows to restart.
Many performers and producers have been without income for months on end. Before the pandemic, more than 200 theatres were operating in the capital, most of them independent, with around 30 commercial.
City Culture Minister Avogadro said Monday that the capital is ready to raise the curtain once again. "We believe that we are in a position to reopen the city’s halls" and performance spaces, he said.
Speculation in local outlets has suggested that theatres in the capital could reopen as soon as next weekend.
In the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA), coronavirus cases have now been in decline for eight weeks. As from Monday, people in the region have been able to circulate freely, though public transport is still reserved for essential workers.
To date, Argentina has recorded more than 1.25 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 34,000 fatalities.