Cinemas and theatres exempt from 10pm coronavirus curfew, culture secretary confirms

The new rule applies to a range of hospitality and leisure sectors including pubs and restaurants

Cinemas and theatres are exempt from the government’s new coronavirus curfew, Oliver Dowden has confirmed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that a spike in Covid-19 infections has prompted a new set of lockdown restrictions in England, including a 10pm curfew on a number of hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses, as well as enforced table service across all pubs and restaurants.

The new measures also saw Johnson urge people to work from home where possible again, and warned that the new changes could remain in place for “six months”.

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Confirming today’s announcements on Twitter, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden specified that the 10pm curfew would apply across “a range of hospitality and leisure sectors including casinos”, but that “it would not apply to theatres and cinemas where performances may run over the 10pm deadline.”

Dowden went on to explain that the exemptions cannot extend to indoor grassroots sport and amateur performing arts and choirs.

However, he added: “None of these restrictions will be in place longer than necessary & we will keep them under review.”

Announcing the new measures earlier today (September 22), Johnson said: “We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real and I’m sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we’ve reached a perilous turning point.”

The coronavirus alert level across the UK moved to 4 earlier this week, meaning that cases are now “rising rapidly and probably exponentially in significant parts of all four nations.”

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Yesterday, 4,368 new cases were reported in the UK, with 11 deaths.

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