Wales’ cinema restrictions “unnecessary”, says UK Cinema Association boss

"I would say the mood in the industry is one of frustration"

UK Cinema Association boss Phil Clapp has called current restrictions across cinemas in Wales “impractical and unnecessary”.

As cinemas across England and Scotland prepare to reopen on May 17, there remains a number of restrictions in Wales which means that only a “small minority” of venues will be set to open their doors next week.

The Welsh government has said they would allow cinemas to reopen “when safe to do so”, but Clapp says that officials have “lumped [cinemas] in” with pubs and restaurants in their guidelines.

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Rules currently say customers must be seated to order and buy food and drink, and that every person must register their details upon arrival at the venue, despite using a QR Code system to check in.

Venues are also being asked to very details with photo ID, and to record the time customers leave the premises.

UK cinemas
CREDIT: Kseniia Zatevakhina / Alamy Stock Photo

“So even if a customer just walks up to a concession stand to buy a tub of popcorn, they have to be seated,” Clapp said to theĀ BBC.

He added: “For many of the smaller venues there simply isn’t the space for that kind of seating. And it will cause queuing and all manner of problems which we presume these restrictions are intended to avoid.”

On the anticipation of cinemas to return across the film industry, Clapp continued: “I would say the mood in the industry is one of frustration, you know, there is a huge amount of excitement and optimism about the return of cinema.

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“Finding an administrative barrier to that late in the day and unnecessarily we would say, in terms of the safe-guarding of customers and staff, is hugely frustrating.”

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