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No respite in sight for Covid-hit culture sector

Representatives from different culture organisations met Interior Minster Berset to discuss the difficult situation for artists in Switzerland due to the restrictions for public events. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

Interior Ministry Alain Berset says it is not sure whether the financial support is sufficient for the culture sector in Switzerland hard hit by government restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on November 16, 2020 - 18:49
swissinfo.ch/ug

“Things are not getting easier for the culture sector which is confronted with a second wave of the pandemic,” said a statement published in the wake of meeting on Monday between Berset and representatives from about 20 different organisation.

Berset is also quoted as saying that he was aware of the “huge challenges” for artists and organisers in the current situation.

In September, parliament approved CHF130 million ($142 million) for next year to help soften the impact of the Covid crisis. The government also agreed to an aid package worth CHF280 million earlier this year.

In response to an increasing number of Covid infections over the past two months, the government imposed new restrictions, limiting the maximum number of people at public events to 50 at the end of October.

Some cantons introduced stricter measures, closing down threatres, cinemas and concert venues in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.

Many independent artists and event organisers say they are struggling to survive as most culture events have been cancelled or put off and other options are few and far between.

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