Loosening of the Corona restrictions for the performing arts
Since 18 February cultural institutions have been allowed to stay open from 5 pm until 1 am. The Covid pass (3G) will remain necessary for another week in theatres, cinemas and museums. Inside most venues measures such as fixed seats, wearing face masks and social distancing are no longer needed. At cultural sites with over 500 visitors, fixed seats remain obligatory as does wearing face masks while moving around.
While the loosening of the restrictions for the performing arts has been long awaited, the current high rate of Covid-infections is causing a great number of cancelled shows. Moreover, the first days of the easing of the measures on 18 February coincided with heavy storms in the Netherlands that forced venues to close.
After the latest Dutch lockdown that started on 19 December 2021, cultural venues were allowed to reopen under severe restrictions on 26 January 2022. A limited number of people was allowed in theatre halls and a mandatory closing time was imposed of 10 pm.
The Dutch government has earmarked € 56.5 million for specific support to the cultural and creative field for 1 February – 8 March 2022, on top of the earlier support of € 195.1 million from 12 November 2021. The total amount of this fifth support package is € 251.6 million.
The new State Secretary of Culture and Media, Günay Uslu, instated on 10 January, has said that support for freelancers is much needed in addition to that for institutions, to maintain the level of knowledge and experience within the field. With this aim several grants have been prolonged. A substantial part of the support package is intended to support individual makers, artists and other cultural professionals: € 15 million of which goes through the six national culture funds and involves work budgets, scholarships and support for experimental research; and € 122,5 million for the compensations scheme of the Performing Arts Fund.
Since the Covid crisis started, over € 1.8 billion has been granted in specific support for the cultural and creative field, alongside generic support packages.