No enforcement yet on theater visits to The Hague, other theaters are still waiting


Pending a final decision by the Haaglanden Security Region, the municipality of The Hague has decided not to strictly enforce the maximum number of thirty people. The cabinet announced new corona measures on Monday evening, including a restriction on the size of groups. During the press conference it was reported that buildings ‘of great importance’ such as cultural institutions may continue to receive more than thirty people and that security regions can grant an exemption for this. The safety regions themselves decide how large the group size may be.

‘Theaters and stages in The Hague may receive more than thirty people for the time being if they comply with a strict protocol’, says Jan Zoet, director of the Zuiderstrandtheater and Amare on Radio West. ‘All theaters and all stages already meet that, otherwise they would not be open now. The main thing is to maintain a meter and a half. There are far fewer people in the room and all visitors are registered. ‘ The Haaglanden Security Region expects to come up with definitive rules for the coming period one of these days.

Financially unfeasible situation

Theaters in the Hollands Midden safety region are still waiting for a decision. If only thirty people were admitted, many halls would be gloomy. Tineke Maas, director of the Goudse Schouwburg and Cinema, states: ‘For cinema: we can keep going with limited capacity. For the theater: a financially unfeasible situation. ‘

‘If only thirty people are allowed in, the question is whether theater producers will actually play for that number’, says Christiaan van Arkel, director of theater de Muze in Noordwijk. ‘We then have to look very quickly at alternative programming. Fortunately, we are also a cinema and can then show several films a day to spread the audience. ‘

The bar has to close at 10 p.m.

‘We are not privileged compared to the catering industry, the bar has to close at 10 p.m.’, Zoet adds. That means a limitation of the after-game in the theater and that also has consequences. ‘Our catering industry will suffer the greatest damage, we depend on that to keep the theater going,’ says Renee van Ingen of the Rijswijkse Schouwburg.

In the culture sector, discussions are still underway on whether or not masks are mandatory. A number of theaters do not wait for regulations, but take the initiative themselves. For example, the Stadstheater Zoetermeer has decided to wear mouth masks everywhere in the public space. ‘So we wear them in the restaurant and around theater performances’, says director of the Stadstheater Hilko Folkeringa. ‘We are not enforcing this duty towards our guests, but we will advise it.’

The staff in the Zuiderstrandtheater also wear masks. ‘The exception is staff who sit behind a plastic screen,’ says Zoet.

The umbrella organization Kunsten92, chaired by Jan Zoet – who is also the director of the Zuiderstrandtheater and Amare – asked in a letter to chairman Bruls of the Safety Regions to make an exception for the 335 stages and 196 cinemas and film theaters in the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: Theaters creatively program corona-proof, but do not see a bright future

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