Italy Shuts Down Opera Houses, Theatres & Concert Halls

By Dejan Vukosavljevic

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced a set of drastic COVID-19 measures, which will include closures of opera houses, theatres and concert halls until Nov. 24, 2020.

Per the decree, “performances in the theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other spaces, including the outdoor ones, are suspended.”

The Italian Prime Minister unveiled a full set of measures which also include the suspension of the activities of gyms, swimming pools, and wellness centers, among others. Bars and restaurants will have to close at 6 p.m., but they will be able to remain open on Sundays and during holidays. Sport events and competitions will also be suspended.

In his tweet, Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said that the decision to close theaters and cinemas was painful, but that the protection of health is an absolute priority.

Italy was the first European country to shut down opera houses in February 2020, after which the country went through a fierce COVID-19 wave that shattered the Italian health system. Italy has seen a sharp rise in the new COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, with the peak of new daily infections reaching 19,640 new cases on Oct. 24, 2020.