The lifting of lockdown rules in England on December 2 has come as a relief for many. During the month-long lockdown, all entertainment and hospitality venues were forced to close their doors to punters for the second time this year – but the strengthened tier system means many are allowed to reopen, albeit under strict new rules.
Cinemas are allowed to reopen under some tiers – albeit with some of the new normal caveats that have come with the coronavirus restrictions.
Christmas releases are sparse on the ground this year following nine months of shutdown across the world.
Big-name releases such as James Bond: No Time to Die have been pushed back to next year.
However, some big releases will be going ahead – including the new Wonder Woman film, which will come out in December.
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Are cinemas open in Tier 2?
Cinemas are permitted to remain open under Tier 2 rules.
In fact, cinemas are currently open under tiers 1 and 2 – but who you can go with depends on where you live.
If you live in Tier 2, you can only go to the cinema with members of your own household, in a group of up to six.
There are also capacity limits on cinemas – with all theatres only allowed to open with 50 percent capacity.
Masks must also be worn at all indoor cinema screenings.
Government guidance reads: “Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.”
Unfortunately, those in Tier 3 will not be able to see any Christmas releases just yet.
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All hospitality and entertainment venues are currently closed under the strengthened Tier 3 rules.
This year has been abysmal for the film and the wider arts industry, with countless cinemas across the country being forced to close for the first and second lockdowns.
Cineworld and Picturehouse announced in October that it would be closing all of its UK theatres indefinitely thanks to the downturn provided by coronavirus.
Vue and Odeon have also reduced opening hours due to a lack of demand.
Confirming the new tiers in a statement last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.
“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.
“The tiering approach provides a framework that, if used firmly, should prevent the need to introduce stricter national measures.”
The current application of tiers will be reviewed on December 16.
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