Boris Johnson has announced that face coverings will be mandatory in UK cinemas from next weekend.
In a Downing Street briefing held earlier today (July 31), the Prime Minister also stated that face masks will be compulsory in museums, galleries and places of worship from August 8.
It comes after Cineworld launched a petition back in June in order to make face coverings compulsory amidst the coronavirus pandemic. However, cinemas were initially allowed to open with no masks required.
Johnson said: “We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
“We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.”
WATCH LIVE: #Coronavirus press conference (31 July 2020)
🔵 @BorisJohnson, Prime Minister
🔵 Prof Chris Whitty, @CMO_England https://t.co/DNNvPPwLai
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) July 31, 2020
UK cinemas were given permission to reopen from July 4 as part of measures introduced by the government to ease the coronavirus lockdown.
However, many chains delayed opening due to major new releases like Tenet and Mulan being moved back to later in the year.
The Prime Minister’s latest briefing also saw him reverse a decision to relax further lockdown restrictions.
Earlier this month, the PM signalled the return of some “socially distanced” live music events this August. Under the proposed plans, from August 1, socially distanced audiences were going to be able to return for indoor performances in theatres, music halls and other venues.
However, that decision has now been reversed after the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty, said the country is now “at the outer edge” of how far it can safely re-open.
Meanwhile, Oma Cinema has unveiled a new, futuristic movie theatre design that is set to launch in Paris, France next year – however, it looks like something straight out of a Star Wars movie.
The design for the cinema, drawn up by architect Pierre Chican before the pandemic, is still under-construction promises “a new era of movie theater” and is now seen as a possible way to bring proper coronavirus social distancing guidelines to movie-watching as the seats are attached in small pods on the wall, rather than in rows along the floor.