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arts venues

Limited to 6 people: Government statement says strict rules now apply to indoor cultural events

The outdoor limit is 15 people.

LAST UPDATE | 19 Aug 2020

A FURTHER CLARIFICATION to restrictions on the number of people at indoor cultural events has been issued, with just six people allowed unless an exemption is granted by government. 

Outdoor events are to be limited to just fifteen people, according to a government spokesperson, despite the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht earlier suggesting that 200 people would be allowed. 

The department had said earlier that venues like cinemas, galleries and theatres could continue to operate under previous limits, which would mean 50 persons indoors and 200 people outdoors. 

As part of yesterday’s tightening of Covid-19 restrictions, limits on gatherings were introduced restricting indoor gatherings to six people and outdoor gatherings to 15.  

Art and cultural groups had earlier complained that the arts has been “side-lined” in government announcements and that “confidence, goodwill and security” was being eroded. 

In a statement this evening, it’s been clarified that museums, cinemas and art galleries can continue to operate at a 50-person limit indoors if physical distancing is employed.

Individual groupings attending these venues must be limited to six people from no more than three households.

“Businesses/services such as museums, cinemas and art galleries are deemed to be controlled environments, with appropriate protective measures in place such as physical distancing between people. These venues can continue to operate where appropriate physical distancing and all other protective measures can continue to be maintained,” the guidance states.

All other indoor cultural events are subject to the six person maximum rule. A very small number of exemptions may be made on a case by case basis following discussion with the Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

“All outdoor events are subject to the new limits of 15. These events are deemed as mass gatherings where there is a concentration of people at a specific location for a specific purpose over a set period of time. These types of events provide opportunities for the virus to spread.”

The government statement tonight said venues “such as” museums, cinemas and art galleries could continue to allow entry to more than six people at a time. However no exhaustive list has yet been published as to exactly which businesses are deemed to be “controlled environments” and therefore allowed to continue operating in this manner.

- With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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