The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
GOVERNMENT has approved the partial reopening of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), with players in low risk sectors given the greenlight to resume operations.
Players in the arts will have to apply for permission from the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and they will only be allowed to resume operations if council is satisfied that they are able to adhere strictly to set Covid-19 transmission prevention protocols and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The sectors that have been given the greenlight to reopen are exhibitions in galleries and museums, book launches, film production, raining centres cum schools of arts, arts and culture centres visual art studios, music recording studios, drive-in cinema, studio recording for online publication and theatre houses for drama, dance, movies and spoken word.
The SOPs for those that will be resuming operations include sanitisation at the entrance at entry and exit points, temperature checks, Wearing of face masks and shields by patrons and staff, a register of all attendees for particular events, social distancing in set up and activities, sanitisation of physical objects/equipment within arts spaces, fumigation of premises before and after usage, audiences to conform to the 100 allowed for gatherings, selling of tickets in advance to control numbers, sale of alcohol at the venues, staff regular health checks for the testing of Covid-19 and the immediate closure of an arts space in case of Covid-19 cases detection.
In a statement, NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said that while players in the arts would be heaving a collective sigh of relief at news of the partial opening of the sector, it was important to prioritise the health and safety of both practitioners and consumers first.
“After successfully lobbying for the sector’s reopening, the NACZ implores industry players to put the health of practitioners and consumers of CCI products at the forefront of their operations to avoid the sector become a vector in the transmission of the deadly virus. In this regards the NACZ encourages artistes to establish and adhere to the set Covid-19 prevention protocols and Standard Operating Procedures at all times as they reopen their creative spaces,” his statement read.
After six months without much activity, Moyo encouraged artistes to get back in their work spaces and begin creating.
“As the sector is celebrating the relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions which have seen the CCIs dormant for the past 6 months, NACZ would like to encourage players in the sector to take advantage of the relaxation of the lockdown conditions to go back to their creative spaces and engage in serious production for the sector to recover some of the opportunities lost due to the corona virus epidemic,” he said.
Playwright and arts administrator Raisedon Baya welcomed the news of the reopening of the arts sector.
“For us the initial reaction from us is that of excitement because our income comes from people either doing events or creating things and finding platforms to sale them. Its unfortunate that the bigger platforms like musical concerts are still closed but I think the other sectors that are normally sustained by smaller crowds can begin to operate normally. This should bring a lot of excitement to a lot of artistes because not all of us are into big musical concerts,’ he said.