"It's very confusing. In all phases of this pandemic, we started to feel the effects of this poor communication long before the measures were implemented", said Rafaela Ribas agency, from the Espectacle association, which represents agents and producers, stating that he has asked for more information from the General Inspectorate of Cultural Activities (IGAC).

The promoter Álvaro Covões, from the Association of Promoters of Shows, Festivals and Events (APEFE), also told the Lusa agency that clarifications were requested from the IGAC, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and the Ministry of Culture, because everything is "a little bit confused".

"We are trying to be sure, with whoever decides and who is in charge, what the rules are," he said.

At issue is the entry into force, on Wednesday, December 1, of new measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including guidelines on whether or not to submit negative tests for cultural events, held either outdoors or indoors.

The update of guidelines 028/2020 on cultural events, published on the DGS website, indicates that to enter an event of that nature, you must present a digital certificate, proof of full vaccination or proof of laboratory testing (for those who are not vaccinated).

This guideline refers some specifics to another document, guideline 014/2021 of the DGS - not yet disclosed -, on large-scale events, whether sports, corporate or cultural.

According to this guideline, which Lusa agency had access to, "sporting events, events that do not have marked places, events that involve the mobility of people through different spaces or events that take place in temporary or improvised spaces, are considered to be of great dimension, from 5,000 people outdoors or 1,000 indoors".

The DGS considers that to attend these large-scale events it is necessary to present a vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the disease or proof of a laboratory test, but an exception is made for "cultural events in show venues of a fixed nature ".

For the two associations of show promoters and producers contacted by Lusa, the rules are not entirely clear, taking into account the variety of types of cultural venues and events, the capacity, whether it is for the public standing or sitting and whether or not it includes drinking.

"Apparently the rules for theaters with seating positions are maintained, that is, with a vaccination certificate and use of a mask. With standing seats, it would be [access] with a negative test" for everyone, considered Álvaro Covões.

Rafaela Ribas laments the lack of clarity in the announced changes, with direct effects on ticket purchases or the postponement and cancellation of shows.

"This cascade of cancellations started three or four weeks ago when people started talking about the possibility of taking measures. Anyone who had to do events yesterday, today or tomorrow still doesn't quite know what they have to do. This creates instability in who does the shows, but it also creates instability in people who buy tickets," said Rafaela Ribas.

In this same guideline 014/2021, the DGS states that in the current epidemiological situation, any in-person event constitutes "an increased risk to public health".

Lusa asked the DGS, IGAC and the Ministry of Culture for further clarification on these new guidelines, but did not receive a timely response.