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The Capital Weekender with Charlie Powell 10pm - 1:30am
2 July 2020, 10:23
Cinemas in England have made some big changes to accommodate social distancing and hygiene rules amid the pandemic.
A lot of cinema chains have delayed reopening after the government gave the go-ahead for movie theatres to resume business from 4 July, with Vue recently announcing they will reopen on 31 July.
However, a lot of cinemas have chosen to reopen on the government-permitted date this Saturday.
If you’ve decided to venture out to see what the new, post-lockdown world is beginning to look like, cinemas, pubs, bars, and restaurants won’t be how we remembered them as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
To adhere to the 1m+ social distancing guidelines, cinemas have made a number of changes to how they operate and how many people can come and view a film.
Amongst the alterations, pick ’n’ mix stands will be removed, like they already have in most supermarkets and local stores.
Film lovers will also have a number of empty seats or rows between them, depending on the size of the cinema.
Admit One, which provides ticketing services for cinemas, told BBC it will automatically enable socially-distanced seating, creating “bubbles” of empty seats around groups when they book.
Following the two meter distancing rule, 16 seats would need to be blocked out around a couple attending together.
This means many cinemas will only be able to accommodate about half the normal amount of customers, at best.
Many cinemas will now require visitors to book online only, and anything purchased at the site will have to be through contactless payment.
Staff will also have Covid-19 hygiene training and wear PPE throughout their shifts, as well as sticking to a strict additional cleaning schedule.
Film start times will also be staggered to avoid an influx of many people entering the foyer at the same time.
Sanitising stations will be dotted throughout the building and at the entrance of every screen.
The films hitting the big screen in time for their re-opening include Mulan, Tenet, Proxima, A Quiet Place Part II and No Time to Die.