Art, cultural activities in Tehran shut down again over rise in coronavirus infections

July 14, 2020 - 18:30

TEHRAN – The activities of all art and cultural centers across Tehran have been shut down for one week due to a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths, the Coronavirus Control Operations Headquarters announced on Tuesday.

The COVID19 death toll raised in Tehran and put the city in an alarming condition.

The shutdown includes all the universities, schools, seminaries, English schools, libraries, movie theaters, museums, mosques, beauty salons and several other entities.

In addition, any cultural and religious ceremonies and seminars are forbidden.

According to the Tehran Governor-General, Anushirvan Mohseni Bandpey, the decision has been made due to the high death toll among coronavirus patients in order to help decrease the numbers in the coming days. 

However, in a press release published on Tuesday, the Cinema Organization of Iran (COI) announced that the movie theaters are still actively observing the health protocols. 

Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance canceled all art, cultural and cinematic events across the country in February in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The Association of Iranian Theater Owners asked President Hassan Rouhani to lift the coronavirus restriction on cinemas, calling for reopening of the theaters across the country based on the health protocols during the pandemic on May 20.

Later, the Cinema Organization of Iran announced that the movie theaters in the so-called “white areas” or regions with no coronavirus hospitalizations in the past two weeks would be allowed to reopen, while, the protocols issued by the Coronavirus Control Operations Headquarters for the theaters must be observed.

The cinemagoers were asked to observe social distancing, while the employees were asked to wear face masks and plastic gloves.

In late June, all movie theaters resumed activities after a four-month-long closure, but are now forced to close once again. 

Photo: An individual passes by a movie theater in Tehran on July 8, 2020 after theaters resumed activities in the pandemic. (ISNA/Parisa Behzadi)

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