Hygienekonzept des Liceu Barcelona, Quelle: Ophelias Culture PR, 18. März 2021


On 27 September [2020], the Gran Teatre del Liceu presented a specific protocol to guarantee health safety inside the Liceu. The purpose of these measures is to bring about compliance with the Catalan Ministry of Health regulations and the ProCiCat’s specific conditions in terms of cultural facilities. In addition, the Liceu also ensures that spectators will have a heightened sense of safety at all times, from the moment they enter the venue until they take their seat and begin to fully enjoy their operatic experience. With the application of this protocol, the Gran Teatre del Liceu has obtained the Global Safe Site certification from Bureau Veritas, which validates the correct implementation of safety and prevention measures against COVID-19.

With the intention of guaranteeing the public’s safety during their visit to the Liceu, the programme of prevention measures includes mandatory use of a mask and hand sanitizer gel, monitoring of attendees’ temperatures at entrances, constant disinfection of spaces, closing of the coat check, and the use of digital format for hand-held programmes. One of the main points of the health protection protocol also includes constant renewal of the air through two new ventilation units that were installed in August 2020. The installed air conditioning and ventilation units, CL02 and CL03, drive the air through turbines placed in the seating area that is returned into the upper part of the room. This means the air in the entire space is renewed 8 times per hour.

A large part of the protection measures is also focused on controlling the flow of people and accesses. Sectorized accesses have been enabled and separated by time slots to avoid crowds forming that could put spectators at risk. The venue’s entire signage has been beefed up to facilitate mobility; the use of the toilets is reduced to 50% and use of elevators has been limited. Scenography changes will be made with an open curtain to help reduce the public’s moving about during intermissions. This unique move will also allow the public to discover how the Liceu’s stage machinery works.

The novel circumstances and the need to apply specific protection measures for how spectators access the theatre have made it necessary to rethink and modify services required for the performances to function properly. Therefore, the Liceu has incorporated specialized job positions to guarantee the theatre’s new method of operating. Security staff has been increased for each function and is in charge of controlling access and exit of each member of the public, as well as ensuring proper compliance of the flow of visitors during their time in the venue, especially at intermission times. A new, specialized job role in protection has been included that will ensure compliance with the regulations at all times (i.e., use of masks and hand sanitizer gel, temperature control, etc.). People with this specific role will be spread out around the Theatre.

Finally, internal “Subscriber and Spectator Service” personnel will be responsible for managing incidents both in the lobby and on the different floors of the building. It should be remembered that the reduction in capacity means that in most functions, a high percentage of spectators are subscribers of the Liceu. In this way, the Theatre hopes to deal personally and efficiently with all rearrangements that must be carried out during capacity restrictions. In terms of seating capacity, the Liceu is applying the Catalan Health Ministry resolutions for the city of Barcelona. The house, then, maintains its maximum capacity at 50%, with a maximum number of 1000 attendees. To guarantee distance at all times, seats have also been disabled, assigning chairs alternately and individually.

Concerning internal groups, specialized protocols have been established for each type of group, from the artistic department to the technical department, tailoring, characterization, chorus, orchestra and administration. In the case of external artisticstaff, the creative teams and invited companies will also have to follow a specific protocol.

The measures include taking temperatures, washing hands, wearing a protective mask during the entire stay at the facilities and maintaining an interpersonal distance of 1.5 metres. In those performances or rehearsals where it is not possible to maintain a safe distance, or the use of protective equipment appropriate to the level of risk, as is the case of singers, the security measures that have been designed for each particular case will be adopted based on the recommendations of health authorities.

The customary protection measures will be mandatory for each group involved, but each department will also have to implement a series of rules specific to their tasks, such as avoiding sharing instruments, guaranteeing distance, preventing crowds from forming and ensuring the proper disinfection of the material in each service.

The Liceu has allocated approximately €480,000 in investments and expenses to implement all the necessary measures and protocols, which include the purchase of thermographs, ozone machines for disinfection, two new air conditioners, personal protective equipment (PPE), consumables (gels), tests (to date), extra signage in the facilities, material to enable teleworking, etc. It must be remembered that this figure is changing as the additional costs are included as a result of the measures applied for protection in each production.