Movie theaters in the UK will not be able to reopen their doors before July 4, the UK government said in its plan to bring business back from COVID-19.
Cinemas are classified as “leisure facilities” in the document published Monday and are included as part of “Step Three” of the reopening plan alongside pubs, hair salons, food service providers and places of worship.
However, these “higher risk” businesses hoping to reopen need to meet the COVID-19 Secure Guidelines, which are expected to be unveiled this week.
“Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part,” the government says in its plan. “Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.”
The document warns that some inherently crowded venues will not be allowed to safely reopen, and other venues might go through phased and pilot reopenings in order to gauge their ability to adopt new guidelines.
The UK Cinema Association, which operates 90% of the country’s movie theaters, told Variety last week that it was targeting late June as a time when cinemas would be ready to reopen but added on Monday that they accepted the new timeline laid out by the government. A representative for the UK Cinema Association did not immediately respond to TheWrap for comment.
“The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of re-opening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens,” the document reads. “The Government will establish a series of task forces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure.”
The UK has seen over 223,000 coronavirus cases and just over 32,000 deaths from the disease.
Read original story UK Cinemas to Remain Closed Until At Least July 4, Government Says At TheWrap