England Joins Growing List of Countries in Second Round of Covid-19 Cinema Closures

Photo by Thomas Laconis. Image courtesy: The Grand Rex

Cinemas in England will be ordered to close from November 5 to December 2, the trade group UK Cinema Association confirmed over the weekend.

England is the latest market in the region to announce a second round of nationwide cinema closures, as local governments scramble to curb a resurgent spike of Covid-19 infections.

The entire UK and Ireland market is now facing widespread cinema closures, with Scotland expected to close cinemas through November 23.

Other territories in the market have already announced their own second round of closures: Ireland went dark on October 7 and is expected to resume operations on December 2. Wales is closed through at least November 9. Northern Ireland closed in mid-October and is expected to return on November 12.

The news in the UK and Ireland market culminates a grim week for exhibitors across the EMEA region. Italy closed its cinemas nationwide for the second time this year on October 26, with an announced reopening date of November 24. Belgium ordered its nation’s cinemas to close on October 29 through at least November 19. A day later, Germany ordered movie theaters to close for the month of November. French cinemas joined that list in a matter of hours, closing all locations through November 28. Listed reopening dates are all provisional and subject to extensions.

Elsewhere in Europe, a second round of closures in Czech Republic ended without the country’s main cinema chains reopening their doors –– and a lack of clarity if they are even allowed to resume operations, according to European trade association UNIC.

Markets that are still open have had to contend with an array of additional restrictions in recent weeks, such as a ban on concessions sales, further reduced admissions capacities, and local curfews that curtail the number of showtimes in the evening. In some instances, countries have adopted localized closures in specific regions deemed as hotspots.

Top markets such as Russia, Switzerland, and Spain –– where cinemas in the province of Catalonia closed on October 30 –– are among those that are struggling with partial cinema closures.

Photo by Thomas Laconis. Image courtesy: The Grand Rex