Local Djs, artists and eventsâ€™ organisers have expressed their disappointment over the resumption of the entertainment industry following the prime Ministerâ€™s announcement last week that the country will stay on Alert Level Purple Lockdown per the countryâ€™s colour coding system that serves as a guide provided by National Covid-19 secretariat (NACOSEC) on behalf of the government in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government had in May re-introduced a hard Alert Level Purple Lockdown, which closed completely all gatherings while restricting movement and economic activity to only that which is vital and classified essential albeit with operational limitations in a move to curb the rising scourge of the pandemic.
As the scourge reduced and more people got vaccinated, the controls were eased yet activities such entertainment events were opened amidst a number of limitations.
The entertainment industry is considered as one of the potential super-spreaders of the virus because of its ability to converge large scores of people.
Prior to the relaxation of the restrictions as espoused by the Premierâ€™s Friday statement, the Djs with the support of musicians, had expressed their dissatisfaction at the governmentâ€™s sidelining of the entertainment industry.
They said it was sad that while the countryâ€™s economy activities had been allowed to operate they were side-lined; hence they had been asking to be cut some slack.
In an interview with Newsday Arts this week, Deejays Association of Lesotho (DJALE) President Malefetsane Tsoeliane known as Dj Darvetz expressed his disappointment saying their proposal was not used.
â€œWe appreciate that finally the authorities have finally given us a break but we are disappointed that although we were asked to submit a reopening proposal, it was not used,â€ Tsoeliane said.
He said they had proposed that the industry be opened fully with the use of Covid-19 vaccine passport as a condition to enter any kind of events.
â€œThis has been long overdue considering how long numbers have been vaccinated and the numbers of covid-19 positive cases had dropped.
â€œWe fully support the introduction of vaccine passport as means to encourage people vaccinating and that will help,â€ he said.
The new regulations under Alert Level Purple Lockdown permit the entertainment industry to operate with 100 people inside an indoor venue and 300 for an outside venue in a privately owned place.
It also says strict adherence to screening and registration of attendees at entrance be mandatory. Alcohol is not allowed and event organizers are liable to arrest and conviction if there is non-compliance.
Meanwhile, for his part, popular event organiser and Deejay, Afro Deejay said it is not enough that events are open yet parks remain closed.
â€œIt is not going to be practical for us as event hosts to organise events while public parks are closed.
â€œAlso people are afraid to attend our events because not enough time is allocated and with alcohol not to be sold the patriots will not want to attend events with no alcohol so it is a bit unfair to us,â€ Afro Deejay said.