Germany orders the re-closure of all cinemas; France could be next – Deadline

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UPDATE, 1:00 p.m .: French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that France will begin a second national lockdown as it tackles the rise in COVID-19 cases. The country will only allow people to buy essentials, see a doctor or exercise for one hour a day. The measures, which will see all cinemas close, will go into effect on Friday (October 30) and last at least until December 1.PREVIOUS, 10:48: As expected, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ordered the closure of all cinemas across the country as part of sweeping lockdown measures designed to stem an alarming rise in the country’s COVID infection rate. The CEO of Germany’s leading film organization HDF Kino said on Wednesday she was “stunned” by the move and warned theaters could be “driven to ruin”.

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The protocols, which will begin on November 2 and last for the first four weeks, will see social contact limited to two households, and other recreational establishments such as theaters and bars will also close. Italy closed cinemas earlier this week and France is expected to toughen measures in the coming hours, which could have an impact on cinemas as well.

As Deadline reported yesterday, Germany is seeing daily infection rates as high as 14,000 this week, eclipsing previous figures in March. In response and ahead of the introduction of the new lockdown, Merkel warned of “very, very difficult months ahead”.

The HDF protested against the idea of ​​closing the theaters, saying that “no infection with COVID-19 associated with going to the cinema is known in the world”.

Responding to today’s update, the organization’s CEO Christine Berg warned of the “potentially fatal” impact that further closings could have on theatrical business. She said the losses would exceed € 1 billion and lead to more permanent site closures.

“We no longer understand the constant ups and downs of the actions taken. For the past six months we have been working in cinemas with detailed safety concepts, large venues, modern ventilation systems and a capacity utilization of only 25%, ”Berg wrote in a statement. “Cinemas take a great responsibility towards their visitors and yet this is of no use to them.”

She called for additional economic support for theaters, but warned that trust between cinema owners and the government had been “severely damaged” by loopholes in previous aid. “Now the state must quickly provide unbureaucratic and transparent aid and take everyone with it,” she wrote.



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