The Government has suggested leisure destinations could re-open as early as 4th July, which means businesses in the sector need to start detailed planning now. Showcase, one of the UK’s leading cinema chains, has outlined its plans to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
As discussed in our recent article on the UK Hotel Sector, businesses up and down the country are now in the unenviable position where they need to convince the paying public it is safe to enjoy their facilities.
We and many others in the UK adore the cinema, but a raft of headlines have caused us to think carefully about where we want to go for entertainment. Cinema chain Vue has recently outlined plans to ensure the safety of their customers. Their proposals included physically isolating family groups from strangers.
UK cinemas closed in mid-May under government guidance. With the ‘new norm’ now engrained in the minds of the British public, it’s time to look at how much of the pre-C19 normality can return.
Mark Barlow, General Manager at Showcase Cinemas, outlined their plans for when cinemas re-open:
“Since the lockdown started, we have been working on what measures will be implemented when we are allowed to re-open, for the comfort and safety of guests and employees alike. We have also been liaising throughout with the UK Cinema Association and the relevant authorities and will continue to do so until such time as we re-open, based on the latest government guidance.
It is clearly dependent on many factors, but the most recent announcement from the Government gave a proposed date of 4th July for leisure destinations that can implement social distancing and other safety measures to re-open, and this is what we are currently working towards.
These measures include being able to restrict capacities per auditorium to maintain social distancing requirements, as well as staggered film start times on a reduced schedule, online bookings, contactless payments throughout, Perspex shields at all till points, and wipes and hand sanitiser stations located throughout our buildings. We have also designed a comprehensive new cleaning programme and employee PPE requirements to ensure that our number one priority – the health and safety of everyone in our cinemas – is achieved.
Watching a film on the big screen is one of Britain’s biggest passions, and we’re really excited that we will be able to welcome film fans back to our cinemas very soon.”
A spokesperson for the UK Cinema Association, added: “We have made clear to the UK Government – and the devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – that, on the basis of our understanding of the safeguards that will need to be in place before cinemas can safely open, most venues will be ready to do so by the end of June. The suggestion that this might be considered around 4th July for cinemas in England is therefore welcome.”
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