Persons who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, will not be allowed to attend musical shows and concerts when the entertainment industry reopens
The entertainment industry will reopen on January 24, 2022, exactly 14 days after the reopening of schools, in line with guidelines issued by President Museveni at the beginning of the year. This is the first time that cinemas, bars,
and recreation centres will be allowed to operate since March 2020, when Uganda announced its first lockdown as a measure to keep coronavirus disease at bay.
It is against this background that the Uganda National Cultural Centre -UNCC, theMinistry of Gender and the Ministry of Health have listed do's and don'ts for the sector that usually attracts several revellers, often in a frenzy mood characterised by great excitement or wild behaviour.
Apart from the vaccination of revellers, the agencies have said that all artists must be fully
vaccinated against COVID-19 or must present a negative result from tests conducted within 72 hours from the day of the performance. The interaction between revellers and the artists has also been discouraged before, during or
after the event.
Event organizers have also been asked to ensure that there is a space measuring not
less than three meters between the stage and the audience. All revellers will also
be required to wear face masks throughout the show and there should be compulsory
sanitizing at the entrance.
Robert Musiitwa the UNCC Public Relations Officer said that event organizers
who flout the guidelines will have their shows cancelled. They have also been asked to sign a compliance form before any event starts to guarantee that they will adhere to all the guidelines.
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Mariam Ndagire, a Director of Afri
Talent Drama Group said that artists will endeavors to follow the guidelines if
this is the only way to get out of a two-year limbo and guarantee the safety of
performers and their fans.
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Hannington Bugingo, the president
Uganda Comedian’s Association says that the same guidelines have been applied
elsewhere in the world. However, he is concerned that key players in the sector
were not consulted when these SOPs were being developed.
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Mesarch Ssemakula, a renowned artist said that although they had not been informed about the new guidelines
at the time of the interview, many of the suggestions were not practical. He
added that instead of setting unrealistic guidelines, the government should
allow artists to influence their fans to go for vaccination.
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Andrew Benon Kibuuka of the
Bakayimbira Dramactors also expressed readiness to resume business and
adherence to SOPs. “This is not a Ugandan
issue rather international and we have seen it on different airlines where no
one enters without a vaccination certificate,” Kibuuka said.