The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) have released a 29-page document of safety guidelines and advice for cinemas for the anticipated reopening on 4th July.
Titled, ‘Cinemas- keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19’, the UKCA have consulted with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the British Film Institute, the Screen Sector Task Force, the Independent Cinema Office and Bectu, Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the devolved nations to provide the ultimate guidance to cinemas planning to reopening to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
While the document largely features general advice from the government regarding social distance and preparation, including screens between staff and customers, floor markers, one-way flow of people, outdoor queueing and collection points, here is the cinema-specific guidance:
Social Distancing Champions
Staggered and reduced screening numbers, allocated seating and distancing between occupied seating should be enforced, with members of staff appointed ‘social distancing champions’, ensure social distancing maintained by cinemagoers.
Also limiting the amount of people per screen is recommended by “managing occupancy levels”, although no specific capacity cap stated.
Avoiding situations where “people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other” should be ensured, which includes playing music before films, or singalong screenings that may encourage shouting or singing.
Prohibited Pick ‘n’ Mix
Pick ‘n’ mix is off the cards, with all “self-service confectionery” being removed to avoid risk of transmission.
Cinema auditoriums will needed to be cleaned frequently, “typically between each screening” and particular attention paid to surfaces that customers’ hands are likely to come into contact.
Face coverings Optional
With no specific advice on whether masks need to be worn by staff or customers, the report states that employers should support their workers if they choose to wear face coverings.