Since March, local artistes have not been able to perform for their fans after the lockdown that put a ban on public performances, concerts and other shows that called for many people to gather as a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The ministry in a series of tweets has maintained that only cinemas were permitted to open contrary to the reports that claimed that concerts, entertainment centers, bars, nightclubs and discotheques were open.
“The Ministry of Health would like to state that entertainment centers or concerts have NOT BEEN OPENED as is being portrayed in sections of the media. All bars, night clubs and discotheques remain closed,” the ministry tweeted.
It further stressed in another tweet that; “As indicated by the Ministry of Health in a statement read on 9 November 2020, under entertainment, ONLY cinemas were permitted to open on 14 November 2020 provided persons maintain a 2 meter distance in all directions and adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures.”
The ministry’s communique comes just hours after the Uganda National Cultural Forum announced at the Uganda Media Center that that the ban on entertainment centers and concerts had been lifted and these would commence on Saturday 19th December.
Addressing the media on Wednesday morning, the Chairperson Board of Trustees of the Uganda National Cultural Centre, Mr. Sam Okello Kelo, announced that concerts were allowed to resume starting Saturday 19th December under restriction that they strictly abide by the SOPs.
“I am therefore happy to announce that our sector (Arts and Culture) has now been opened to operate but with strict observance of the Ministry of Health COVID-19 guidelines and SOPs,” Mr Okello said.
Okello also revealed that the government also fulfilled its pledge of financially supporting promoters whose shows were cancelled during the lockdown by giving them a Shs 1.2 billion compensation.
Among some of the conditions placed upon the lift of the ban according to the Uganda National Cultural Forum is that the concerts will be conducted in gazetted places and must take place within the day from 7am and 7pm and not later than that.