SOPs for cultural events: Artistes, crew need Covid-negative certificate, no entry without masks
New Delhi, Oct 15: The Culture Ministry released a new set of SOPs on Thursday for organising cultural programmes with adequate safety measures, making it mandatory for artistes and crew to furnish a valid Covid-negative test certificate, barring entry of visitors and patrons without masks and allowing seating on only 50 per cent seats for the audience.
The Standard Operating Procedures are to be followed by the management of theatres and host institutions as well as the entertainment or creative agencies, artistes, crew or any other person who hire an auditorium or any other open/closed space for cultural events, the ministry said.
It said digital no-contact transactions should be preferred to issue, verify, or pay for tickets, and contact details of all customers should be taken at the time of booking of tickets to facilitate contact-tracing. No cultural activity should be allowed in containment zones, it added. "It is advisable for all external artistes and crew members, including those engaged in providing lighting, sound, make-up, costume etc. to present a valid COVID negative test result to relevant authorities at the host institution. The test should have been conducted within 7 days prior to the event. Management/creative agency may provide a mobile testing unit at the venue if feasible.
"It is advised to keep use of props to the minimal and avoid procurement of any new equipment than already designated in the premises. iii. Production houses must ensure that minimum crew visits the premises. It is advisable that trials and fittings related to costumes be done at the artist's residence. Nuances such as look test may be shared over video," it said.
For viewers, the guidelines said, wearing masks is mandatory and physical distancing of at least 6 feet is to be followed at all times. For the organisers, the SOP included sanitization of venue before and after the event, availability of hand sanitizers, preferably in the touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as common areas within the premises.
"Adequate dustbins must be provided at key points, with specially marked dustbins for proper disposal of masks, gloves or other equipment, especially those used by cleaning staff. vi. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited," the order stated.
The SOP also said that no one will be allowed to enter the premises without wearing masks and advised all artistes to carry their own food to the venue. "Strictly no entry without a mask. Visitors, patrons and audience members must wear proper masks covering the nose and mouth at all times. Management should identify and check any visitors who flout this basic rule and in case of non-cooperation, they should ask the visitor /patron/audience member to leave the venue.
Thermal screening of all visitors/staff must be carried out at all entry points. Only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises," it said. The SOPs also include guidelines for air-conditioning/cooling and stated that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C and relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%.While the offices of cultural institutions are in operation, these SOPs are a go ahead for them to begin cultural events in their premises, officials said. The Home Ministry had issued 'Unlock 5.0' guidelines on September 30, allowing organisers to hold cultural programmes.