Tunisia halts international festivals over coronavirus; cultural activities to resume in June

Ahram Online , Monday 1 Jun 2020

Strict measures will be imposed when cultural venues reopen in mid-June

A general view shows a empty street in Sidi Bou Said, an attractive tourist destination, as the country extended the lockdown by two weeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tunis, Tunisia April 1, 2020. REUTERS

Tunisia has decided to cancel the 2020 editions of two of its most important cultural events, the international festivals of Carthage and Hammamet, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After consultation with medical authorities, the Tunisian culture ministry announced on Sunday the postponing of the two events until 2021 for the first time in their history since the mid-1960s.

However, cultural activities in the North African country are scheduled to resume gradually starting mid-June when indoor venues reopen with a limited attendance of 30 visitors. Outdoor performances will resume with a maximum of 1,000 people while strictly following precautionary measures like obligatory facemasks and social distancing.

Since 1964, the Hammamet International Festival has gained popularity as a music and arts event occurring annually in July and August. The International Festival of Carthage is also a famous music event, running since 1966 in the other Mediterranean city in early November.

Tunisia has reported over 1,000 cases of coronavirus and the deaths of almost 50 people.

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