UK PM Boris Johnson is set to announce that outdoor venues in England including open-air cinemas can re-open from Monday (June 15).
The move comes as the country continues to gradually relax its lockdown. Zoos and safari parks are also covered by the next stage. Social distancing rules of people remaining two-meters apart from each other will need to be maintained, though the government is coming under increasing pressure from businesses to reduce this to one-meter, which is in line with World Health Organization guidelines.
The UK does not have a rich recent history of drive-in cinemas, though more are set to pop up due to the pandemic, but outdoor cinema venues, most of which open just for the summer season, are widespread. They include Film4’s popular series of screenings of new and repertory titles at Somerset House each summer, and Peckham’s Rooftop Film Club in London.
Indoor cinemas are expected to be allowed to re-open in the next phase of the lockdown reduction, which arrives on July 4 and will also cover hairdressers, pubs and restaurants. Multiplex owners including Vue and Odeon have indicated that they are aiming for that date, though many independent venues have been expressing doubts about the viability of operating with the necessary restrictions in place.
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