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Friday round-up: Omicron live music restrictions

Belgium, Catalonia, Denmark, the Netherlands, N.Zealand, N.Ireland and Norway have this week announced updates to their Covid-19 restrictions

By IQ on 28 Jan 2022

Welcome to IQ’s Friday round-up of the latest restrictions affecting major international touring markets.

Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key live music markets around the globe.

As of today (28 January), a ‘coronavirus barometer’ is in force in Belgium and the country will start in ‘code red’.

With the exception of nightclubs and dance halls, all indoor spaces belonging to the cultural, festive, sporting, recreational and events sectors may be opened to the public. Wearing a face mask remains mandatory in public areas.

For public events, a valid Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is required when there are more than 50 attendees indoors and 100 outdoors. If the event takes place outside with more than 1,000 people, attendees must be divided into cohorts.

If an event takes place with more than 200 people, the crowd must be limited to 70% of the total capacity of the place where the event takes place. However, if the indoor air quality target can be met during the event, this restriction does not apply.

Venues with more than 50 capacity are required to have an air quality meter (CO2) in the indoor areas accessible to the public.

The target value for indoor air quality is a flow rate of at least 40 m³/hour per person of ventilation and/or air purification or a maximum CO2 concentration of 900 ppm (parts per million).

The indoor air quality limit is a flow rate of 25 m³/hour per person for ventilation and/or air purification or a CO2 concentration of 1200 ppm.

In principle, the rules will apply until 27 April but the epidemiological conditions will be closely monitored and the measures will be evaluated at the next Consultative Committee.

Catalonia will begin to relax almost all restrictions from today (28 January) but nightclubs must remain closed.

The Covid passport will not be mandatory to access leisure and entertainment facilities, and cultural venues will no longer have a capacity limit.

However, at indoor events where there are more than 1,000 people, it is recommended that venues have a good ventilation system.

Denmark’s live music business has cheered “a day to celebrate” after it became the first country in the EU to announce it is ending all coronavirus measures.

The country will no longer categorise Covid-19 as a “socially critical” illness from 5 February, with PM Mette Frederiksen telling citizens they will be able to look forward to “concerts and festivals again” this summer.

The authorities will remove restrictions from 1 February due to Denmark’s high (81%) vaccination rate and the Omicron variant appearing to be milder than previous variants. Despite a recent surge in infections, Covid-related hospitalisations remain low.

The Netherlands
The Dutch government has announced the reopening of the cultural sector, under certain conditions.

From 26 January, booked events are permitted to resume with a maximum of 1,250 visitors indoors and a maximum of one-third of the capacity in outdoor spaces.

However, access to music venues and cinemas will be restricted to those who have been vaccinated (geimpft), have recovered from Covid (gensesen) or have been tested against Covid (getestet) – otherwise known as the 3G model.

Attendees must also wear a face mask when walking around. Venues and events must adhere to a 22:00 curfew.

Nightclubs must remain closed and festivals and unplaced events will continue to be prohibited.

New Zealand
A ‘staggering’ number of major events across New Zealand have been cancelled and more are expected, following the country’s recent move to red in the Covid traffic light system.

From 23 January, indoor and outdoor events across the country are limited to 100 people and the use of vaccine passports is mandatory.

The move to red in the Covid traffic light system comes after a cluster of nine Omicron cases were recorded.

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland announced that proof of Covid status will no longer be legally required for entry to bars, restaurants or cinemas from 26 January.

Indoor standing events are now permitted again and nightclubs, which were forced to close on 26 December, are allowed to open.

Covid passports will remain in use for access to nightclubs, as well as for indoor unseated and partially-seated events with 500 or more people in attendance.

The Norwegian government has rolled back restrictions and increased capacity limits for events.

From 21 January, there can be up to 1,500 people at indoor events with fixed seats. Where there are more than 200 people present, events can have a maximum of 50% capacity, divided into cohorts of up to 200 people. There must always be at least two metres distance between the cohorts.

For outdoor events with fixed seats, there can be up to 3,000 people. Where there are more than 500 people present, events can have a maximum of 50% capacity, divided into socially distanced cohorts of up to 500 people.

The government will review the measures at the beginning of February.


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