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Italy & Spain Re-Close Music Venues Due To COVID-19 Spike
Christian Eede , August 17th, 2020 15:57

Both countries' health departments reintroduced measures over the weekend that mean clubs and gig venues must stay closed for some weeks

Health ministers from Spain and Italy have reintroduced COVID-19 measures affecting music venues in response to a recent spike in cases in both countries.

All clubs and gig venues in both countries were ordered to close with immediate effect over the weekend. Spain's ban on music events and venues opening will be in place for the foreseeable future and was confirmed last Friday (August 14) by health minister Salvador Illa.

Italy's Roberto Speranza, Minister of Health in the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, announced similar measures for the country yesterday (August 16), with all indoor and outdoor party and music spaces ordered to close until at least September 7.

Both Spain and Italy were amongst Europe's worst affected countries by COVID-19, with both going into lockdown early. Some lockdown measures were eased in May with the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths declining at that point in both countries. Clubs and gig venues were able to reopen in Spain and Italy from July as more restrictions were eased.

Italy and Spain have since seen a significant increase in new cases of COVID-19. Reuters reports that Italy's number of new cases for the past week is more than double that of three weeks ago.

While social distancing was expected at parties and events following the easing of some lockdown restrictions, videos have appeared on social media in recent weeks showing a number of high-profile DJs playing to sizeable crowds in both Spain and Italy. Many of those attending the events appear also not to have been wearing masks based on the footage.

News of Italy and Spain reintroducing coronavirus measures follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last week that gig venues in England could now reopen, with strict social distancing measures in place. Many venue owners across the UK have however warned that their businesses are not sustainable with such restrictions, leaving many facing an uncertain future if they cannot access the £1.57 Billion Arts Support Package that was unveiled last month.