Open Letter: In Response to the Reopening of LCSD Venues

29 March 2022

Mr. LIU Ming Kwong, Vincent, JP
Director of Leisure and Cultural Services
Leisure and Cultural Services Department


Dear Mr. Liu, 

Reopening of LCSD Venues

The Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association (HKAAA) welcomes the Government’s decision to reopen museums and performance venues under the Leisure & Cultural Services Department from April 21.  We would like to seek LCSD’s advice on the following in order to plan for the smooth reopening and resumption of programmes.

(1)    Will LCSD venues be made available for close-door rehearsals and recordings before April 21 to allow artists to prepare for their performance?

(2)    Will there be an audience capacity limit in the venues? It is worth noting that it is unlikely to be financially viable to organise an event if the audience capacity limit is below 85%.

(3)    Will a set of up-to-date guidelines for hirers for Covid control measures (Notes to Hirers) be available?  It would be helpful to have detailed guidelines on the implementation of Vaccine Pass for performers, staff and public audiences.  

The LCSD is also urged to give assistance to performing artists and groups to rebook venues for their cancelled events and to facilitate URBTIX ticket sales ahead of the reopening on April 21.

In the long run, we would also like to ask the Government to allow for exemptions under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) which currently puts the entire performance venues, regardless of their function, under the restrictions. At present, most of the LCSD venues are not solely used for performance but also for rehearsals as well as the day-to-day administration of arts groups and organisations. Intermittent and across-the-board closures of the entire performing venues have undoubtedly had an  adverse effect on the arts sector in maintaining its artistic excellence and ongoing operations.
The latest prolonged closure of all performance venues due to the 5th wave of the COVID outbreak has dealt another great blow to the industry. We would appreciate your consideration in addressing the above issues so as to help the sector regain its vitality to its pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible.  

Best regards,
Vennie Ho
Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association
cc: Mr Kenneth Fok, JP, Member of the Legislative Council


7 April 2022

Re: Open Letter: Reopening of LCSD Venues

Dear Vennie,

Thank you for your letter dated 29 March 2022 to the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services who has authorised me to reply on his behalf.  Our reply to your questions is detailed in the subsequent paragraphs.

(1)         The Government announced on 25 March 2022 that most of the social distancing measures would be relaxed by phases starting from 21 April provided that the epidemic situation does not rebound and remains on a downward trend.  To facilitate the arts sector preparing for their performances before the reopening of performance venues under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), eligible arts groups could use the venues to do rehearsals, live streaming and recorded performances without live audience from 7 to 20 April.  

(2)        The LCSD will adopt the prevailing social distancing measures including special seating arrangements.  We are well aware of your concern about the audience capacity limit which is a crucial factor to the financial viability of an event.  The social distancing and infection control measures of LCSD performance venues will be relaxed in accordance with the announced timeline for a phased relaxation regulated by the law.  We will progressively increase the maximum number of audiences if the actual situation improves, and keep reviewing the relevant arrangements according to the development of the epidemic and the advice from the health authorities.

(3)        A set of up-to-date Notes to Hirers in respect of rehearsal, live streaming and recorded performances without live audience for the period of 7 to 20 April is available for arts groups having booked the venues during this period.  All users are required to comply with the requirements applicable to Place of Public Entertainment under the Vaccine Pass.  Another set of Notes to Hirers updated according to the social distancing and infection control measures for hirers, performers and staff from 21 April onwards will be available in due course.  Appropriate poster, signage for the implementation of Vaccine Pass and assistance from our staff will also be offered to public audiences.  You may wish to visit the Government website on Vaccine Pass for details at

The LCSD has been making every effort to arrange rescheduling for the affected programmes due to the closure of venues in the 5th wave of epidemic.   The hire charges that have been paid could be transferred to the rescheduled booking slots.  If the rescheduling of programmes is not allowed due to hirers' own schedule or booking situation of the venues, full refund of the hire charges will be arranged.  For those arts groups which would like to book the LCSD performance venues again during 7 to 20 April for rehearsals, live streaming and recorded performances without live audience, they are welcome to approach the respective venue offices for assistance.

The performance venues managed by LCSD are regulated under the Places of Public Entertainment which must follow the requirements and directions in relation to Scheduled Premises under Cap. 599F.  We will pay close attention to the latest developments of the epidemic and the requirements for scheduled premises, and review the reopening arrangements timely.  As anti-epidemic work is still the top priority and important task of the Government, we have the responsibility to maintain the social distancing measures to contain the risk of virus transmission in the community.  We hope that different sectors of our society may join hands in anti-epidemic efforts and protect the health of every citizen in Hong Kong together.

With best regards,

Fionn Yeung
Assistant Director (Performing Arts)
Leisure and Cultural Services Department

c.c.: Hon Kenneth Fok, JP