Ministry of Culture and Youth enables musical activities with audiences in closed venues

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The Ministry of Culture and Youth updated the “Subsectoral Protocol of the Ministry of Culture and Youth for the reactivation of musical cultural activities (live music) with audiences”, announced on 21 January 2021, with the aim of enabling closed spaces for musical activities, in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

With this update, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce adjusts its protocol for the sector of canteens, bars and taverns. In addition, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute adjusts its protocols for restaurants and lodging.


With this, the opening of musical activities in spaces or properties that have a sanitary operating permit for artistic and musical cultural activities in outdoor spaces and in musical cultural activities in enclosed spaces with good natural ventilation and procedures implemented to guarantee the implementation of “Phase 2. Performance of musical activities with audiences present in outdoor outdoor venues with reduced capacity and indoor venues with super-reduced capacity limited by social distancing”.

These are outdoor outdoor spaces and enclosed spaces, which do not rely exclusively on air conditioning for ventilation and which avoid mass concentration.

Under a shared management model where the following minimum commitments must be observed:

  1. The spaces must comply with:
  • Current health permit.
  • Seating arrangement, according to the social bubble spacing and authorised seating capacity control, according to the respective protocol.
  • Clear demarcation to easily identify the areas where they must stay, circulation, entry and exits are differentiated.
  • Adequate demarcation so that the distance between the musicians of the ensemble and the audience is maintained.
  • In enclosed spaces, there are several options for ensuring distance between interpreters and audience: physical barriers, a minimum distance of 5 metres between audience and interpreters, or the application of both sanitary measures.
  1. Organisers, administrators, producers, promoters and technical staff shall:
  • Manage booking and ticketing mechanisms.
  • Develop the specific procedure for implementing the protocol.
  • To allow cultural workers involved in musical activities to adapt their artistic and musical presentations, safeguarding the health of people, mitigating the risk of contagion, allowing them to interact with the public and complying with the protocol.
  • Ensure that the social bubbles remain in place for the duration of the activities, guarantee distancing and that the social bubble is not broken, as well as the mandatory use of masks, cleaning and disinfection of common areas and surfaces, and differentiated attention to vulnerable people and/or people with disabilities throughout the development of the activities.
  • Avoid crowds or agglomerations in any space (stage, aisle, parking, restroom, hall or space for the public, among others).
  • Ensure a total duration of 2 hours, with an intermission time of 20 to 60 minutes between each show, in the case of multiple performances.
  1. Attendees should:
  • Remain seated during the artistic and cultural activity.
  • The use of masks is mandatory.
  • In open spaces, when activities involve dancing, they must respect that it is within the same social bubble (2 people maximum for dancing), and must respect the distance (2 metres) between bubbles. In enclosed spaces, dancing remains prohibited.
  1. Interpreters shall:
  • Ensure compliance with the authorised sound pressure levels for each phase.
  • Comply with the measures of hygiene, disinfection and use of instruments and technical equipment to carry out the musical activity.
  • Make the presentations in the spaces differentiated from the public.
  • Wind instruments and singers and/or voices in face-to-face activities may be integrated into their musical groups through differentiated spaces such as streaming transmission or in distanced spaces with physical barriers (such as acoustic booths for drums with a minimum height of 2 metres), respecting the distance between each wind or singing musician, located inside the acoustic booths.
  • Ensure that the occupancy on stage will be in accordance with the stage and space capacities to guarantee the minimum distance between performers (1.8mtrs).
  • Musicians playing wind instruments in musical activities are exempted from wearing masks (when playing), avoiding loud conversations and wearing masks as long as they are not involved artistically, before and during the activity.

“Making progress in these openings demonstrates the inter-institutional work and shared management with the productive sectors that show both the need to reactivate their activities and the firm commitment to do so in an absolutely responsible manner. In this way, we are recovering recreational and entertainment spaces for the population and the sector’s own productive chains. We will continue progressively to ensure the well-being of all people and respect for health measures to deal with the pandemic,” said Sylvie Durán Salvatierra, Minister of Culture and Youth.

It is important to note that establishments such as bars, taverns, restaurants (food service), accommodation services and canteens are subject to the sectoral protocols applicable to them. However, if you carry out musical cultural activities, you must adapt your operation to the conditions and restrictions set out in the model for the reopening of outdoor spaces and closed spaces, contained in the “Subsectoral Protocol of the Ministry of Culture and Youth for the reactivation of musical cultural activities (live music) with an audience”.


From the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the organisations of the sector, we invite you to support artists and cultural workers with enthusiasm and responsibility.

The official document can be downloaded from the official website of the Ministry of Culture and Youth at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/n4d37zzb

Questions and Answers

Subsectoral protocol of the Ministry of Culture and Youth for the reactivation of musical cultural activities (live music) with audiences”.

  • Music performances in open and closed spaces, known as “Phase 2”.
  1. What are the spaces that can be used for music activities?

A/ Phase 2 enables musical performances in outdoor, open-air or roofed spaces without walls, such as squares, parks, sports fields, streets, courtyards, car parks, green areas, terraces, gymnasiums, community halls, for example, that meet the conditions to avoid a mass event, as well as closed spaces that do not rely exclusively on air conditioning for ventilation.

In addition, the venue or property must have a sanitary operating permit for this type of event to prevent it from becoming a mass event.

  1. What is the permitted capacity for the activities?

A/ It will depend on the spaces that are identified and if there is any special limitation given by their governing bodies (MEIC, ICT, ICODER, Municipalities).

  1. Is it already possible to sing at concerts?

A/ Concerts are not being enabled. These are musical performances with small audiences in open-air outdoor spaces and in enclosed spaces that do not rely exclusively on air-conditioning for ventilation.

In this phase, the wind and singing instruments are available for the performers, provided that they are not in direct contact with the audience. The distance between the audience and the performers is 5 m. and the use of acrylic is optional. In enclosed spaces, the 5 m. distance is not compulsory, in which case, the use of physical barriers (acoustic booths for drums with a minimum height of 2 m.) is compulsory, respecting the distance between each wind or singing musician, located inside the acoustic booths.

The audience will be able to enjoy themselves, wearing their usual masks and social distancing.

  1. How can activities be carried out?

A/ The events will have a total duration of 2 hours, and may allow the successive presentation of 2 or more artists or groups. The number of performers may be 5 or as many as the stage and the distance between them allows (1.8 metres).

Wind instruments and singers, in addition to complying with the minimum retreat from the audience, must be located behind physical barriers to contain the spread of saliva droplets.

In the case of successive performances, there shall be a 20-minute intermission between each performance in order to apply the hygiene and disinfection measures provided for.

  1. What COVID-19 prevention measures does the protocol provide for?

A/ A distance between interpreters and audience must be ensured. In enclosed spaces, there are several options for ensuring distance between interpreters and audience: physical barriers, a minimum distance of 5 metres between audience and interpreters, or the application of both sanitary measures. In open spaces, the 5-metre distance shall always be guaranteed, with or without physical barriers.


Wind instruments and singers, in addition to complying with the minimum retreat from the audience, must be located behind physical barriers to contain the spread of saliva droplets.

The above, in addition to those known as symptom control, hand washing, disinfection of spaces, assistance by bubbles, 1.8 metres distance between bubbles or 2 metres when the possibility of dancing is foreseen. In these cases, only one couple may dance – per bubble, per turn – within their own bubble space, in open spaces. In enclosed spaces it is forbidden.

  1. Is dancing allowed?

A/ Dancing is only permitted in open air spaces. When the organisers of the activity foresee the possibility of dancing, it must be taken into account that only one couple per bubble may dance and the distance between bubbles must be 2 metres. To this end, it is recommended that the areas are clearly demarcated by means of floor or vertical markings, allowing attendees to easily identify the areas where they should stay, as well as the areas designated exclusively for circulation.

Dancing is prohibited in enclosed spaces.

  1. What should the public interested in attending know?

A/ That behind this habilitation and the elaboration of the protocol there is an enormous commitment of the people of art and culture to offer both a quality and safe show. Recovering the spaces that are being prepared with so much love is important for all the communities of the country, and we invite you to support the artists and workers with enthusiasm and responsibility.

  1. Can indoor venues that only have air conditioners as a ventilation mechanism have musical activities on their premises?

A/ The premises should not rely exclusively on air conditioning for ventilation.

  1. From when can musical activities take place in enclosed spaces?

A/ As of the communication made by the Ministry of Culture and Youth (4 February 2021).

  1. Can music activities now take place in enclosed spaces such as bars, canteens, taverns, restaurants and hotels?

A/ Correct. Musical activities may be held in enclosed premises that do not rely exclusively on air conditioning for ventilation and that have a health permit. Activities must last 2 hours and with distance between performers and audience.

It is important to note that establishments such as bars, taverns, restaurants (food service), accommodation services and canteens are subject to the sectoral protocols applicable to them. However, if you carry out musical cultural activities, you must adapt your operation to the conditions and restrictions set out in the model for the reopening of outdoor spaces and closed spaces, contained in the “Subsectoral Protocol of the Ministry of Culture and Youth for the reactivation of musical cultural activities (live music) with an audience”.

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