Friday,December 04,2020 13:14 PM

Artistes want bars opened, develop SOPs

By Chris Kiwawulo and Josephat Sseguya

Added 10th September 2020 06:09 PM

Artistes want bars opened, develop SOPs

A bar in Kololo. Artistes said they have agreed to allow only a limited number of revellers in a particular bar and that this will depend on the bar size

COVID-19 |

Artistes have come up with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which they want the government to consider in order to re-open entertainment places, especially bars, from where they can perform and earn a living.

The artistes, mostly musicians and comedians, said they have been financially constrained ever since government locked down entertainment places due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Uganda, in March.

As a measure to keep social distance in the bars, the artistes proposed that much as there will be music playing in the bars, patrons will not be allowed to dance with one another in open space.

"We shall ensure that people enjoy the music while seated. They can shake their bodies or nod their heads, but not dancing with one another," the Uganda Musicians' Association (UMA) president Wycliff Tugume, popularly known as Ykee Benda, said.

According to Tugume, they have agreed to allow only a limited number of revellers in a particular bar and that this will depend on the bar size.

"Each of the revellers will be required to wear a mask and those who will come with none, will be tasked with buying one at the entrance," he noted.

They also proposed that each bar will have soap and water, sanitisers and that before any person is allowed into the bar, they have to check their temperature.

Tugume announced their proposed SOPs at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya, a Kampala suburb, on Tuesday, shortly after he had been sworn in as the new UMA president. He replaced fellow musician Sophie Gombya, who said she was going to join politics.

The artistes also appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to consider them while giving out COVID-19 stimulus packages, saying they lost a lot of money when the concerts were cancelled to avert the spread of COVID-19.

Gombya said the association, which started with 20 members, now boasts over 250 members.

"All artistes, including musicians, comedians, songwriters, producers and deejays have joined the association. I urge all of you to work together towards a strong organisation," Gombya said.

The SOPs are usually sent to the COVID-19 scientific advisory committee, which studies them and advises the President.

The health ministry permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said she has not seen the SOPs that the artistes have come up with.

However, Atwine pointed: "If they have sent them (to the COVID-19 scientific advisory committee), they will be studied and advice will be provided on how they can be allowed to operate."

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