UK Cinema Association Publishes Guidelines for Drive-In Cinemas

The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) has published safety guidelines for the re-opening of drive-in cinemas—the first step in the recovery of the U.K. cinema sector from the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Drive-in cinemas, which are allowed to open in England on June 15th, have seen a resurgence in recent weeks, particularly in the United States and Germany. The UKCA’s guidelines are intended to provide advice on a range of measures that drive-in operator should take to ensure the continued safety of customers and staff. 

The industry “has been on a steep learning curve around the operation of drive-in cinemas given their relative scarcity until now,” said UKCA chief executive Phil Clapp, adding his gratitude towards the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the British Film Institute, and the Independent Cinema Office for their support in crafting the new guidelines.

The UKCA’s main focus, the group specifies, remains ensuring that the hundreds of cinema venues across the U.K. that have been closed for almost three months are able to open as soon as possible. Their work on crafting guidelines for indoor cinemas continues, and an announcement on that front is forthcoming. 

The guidelines, which can be found here, were prepared in consultations with 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). This guidance currently only relates to activities permitted by U.K. government regulation in England from June 2020. Key points addressed include protecting those at high risk, enabling social distancing (including in more challenging areas like doorways and break rooms), staggering employee entry times, and sharing the results of a risk assessment with your workforce.

In April, the Cinema Technology Community (CTC) published their own guide on drive-in movie screenings that included a wide range of topics to ensure safe conditions for the customers.

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