The Ministry of Culture is working to aid arts and cultural groups dealing with new COVID-19 restrictions through a special subsidy program, it said on Saturday.
The ministry on Friday announced a special subsidy program to aid arts and cultural groups and workers a day before the Central Epidemic Command Center raised the COVID-19 alert in Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3.
The program, which is accepting applications starting at noon today, aims to help arts groups and performers whose commercial performances, music concerts and film screenings were scheduled to be held from Tuesday last week to June 8, but have been canceled, postponed or scaled down due to reinforced disease prevention measures.
The program would offer up to NT$2.5 million (US$89,247) in subsidies to help cover groups’ operating expenses and box office losses, with the exception of major or emergency situations, it said.
The level 3 restrictions imposed on Saturday included the closure of movie theaters and exhibition halls in the two cities, effective through Friday next week, while some groups and individuals have said that the subsidy program failed to cover all types of arts and cultural industries, and lacked a way for individual workers to apply, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry would cooperate with the government’s disease prevention, relief and revitalization policies, fight for a relief budget, and do its best to give all types of arts and cultural industries and workers needed assistance, it said.
The Executive Yuan’s plans to extend the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Recovery (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) by a year and revise the upper limit of the special budget to NT$630 billion is still pending review and approval by the legislature, the ministry said.
As a result, after taking stock of its budget for this year, the ministry is first to offer a special subsidy program aimed at addressing losses incurred from Tuesday last week to June 8 due to the effects of disease prevention measures, it said.
Shows organized by arts and cultural groups or personal studios are eligible for the special program, the ministry said.
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