Theaters and cinemas unhappy with government straying from crisis exit plan

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Apollo Cinema Source: Press material

Theaters and cinemas are not pleased with the recent easing of restrictions because they were not included and must keep their doors closed through May. While the Ministry of Culture has worked out a crisis exit plan with culture institutions, the government's decisions on Tuesday did not take the plan into consideration.

Even with research showing that culture establishments have not led to a noticeable increase in infections, the government finds that indoor performances can still not be organized.

"They are locations where there are a lot of people in one room, sitting stationary in their seats. And that is why we cannot allow such openings based on the current infection indicators," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) told ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Wednesday.

"Public events are allowed outdoors. If there is a concert, for example, it is allowed within the limits of restrictions imposed on outdoor events and public gatherings," Kallas added.

The Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions sent a letter to the prime minister and the culture ministry on Wednesday, asking for a clear response about the duration and basis on restrictions established for culture institutions.

"The culture ministry has drawn up a crisis exit or restriction-easing plan, which nicely shows that if the average number of weekly restrictions falls below 500, culture could be opened," penned Margus Allikmaa, chairman of the performing arts association.

"Today, scientists say that it will certainly drop below 500 by May, they point out numbers such as 200 and 300, but that is not considered for some reason," he added.

"If there are plans made and they have been presented to the public, they should be followed and we should not go: 'we have done something on paper and that is where it will remain," as the white paper currently is," Allikmaa noted.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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