from January 15, more sessions without vaccine

Jean Castex announced a series of measures aimed at slowing the progression of the pandemic, some of which concern cinemas. We take stock.

This Monday, December 27, faced with the resurgence of COVID-19 and particularly the variant Omicron, the Prime Minister organized an exceptional council to determine the measures to be adopted to curb the pandemic in France. Among these new directives, several concern places of culture, including cinemas and theaters.

New gauges indoors and outdoors

It was one of the weapons used to fight the spread of the virus when theaters reopened in June 2020 and then in May 2021. New gauges were adopted for indoor and outdoor gatherings. However, this time around, the government is adopting more flexible measures. Thus, inside, it is fixed to 2000 people. This does not therefore apply to cinemas, whose capacity rarely reaches this figure. Only the main hall of the Grand Rex will have to limit entry to its next events. As a reminder, it has a real capacity of 3,300 people, even if it can sometimes accommodate 5,000.

The Vaccine Pass required to go to the cinema

Jean Castex also announced the creation of a vaccination pass to replace the health pass put in place last summer. Yesterday the government confirmed that it will take justify a complete vaccination before being able to access the rooms of France. Thus, an antigen test or PCR will no longer suffice. Starting the January 15, cinemas will therefore no longer be accessible to people who have not been vaccinated or who have not completed their vaccination schedule.

If the law has not yet been voted, it should be by January 15, 2022. The executive is also working on a measure allowing the operators of establishments “To control more the vaccination pass and the identity of the one who presents it”. At present, only the police are authorized to carry out such an identity check. Moreover, the Prime Minister announces that he wants “Mobilize police and gendarmes to control the pass vaccinaL.”

No consumption in the rooms

Finally, the last strategy adopted to limit the spread of the virus, it is now forbidden to consume sweets and drinks in closed places (except bars or restaurants). This obviously concerns cinemas, where wearing a mask is therefore required at all times. Until now, if a good part of the rooms asked their customers to keep it as much as possible, it was authorized to remove it to eat. It is now banned, as in trains, theaters and public transport. This measure had already been adopted when the dark rooms reopened last May, before being gradually lifted later during the summer.

What impact for the 7th art?

The storm is far from over for French cinemas. If they narrowly escape a total closure, French operators will again have to deal with restrictions that will weigh heavily on their revenues. At first, they will have to do without unvaccinated spectators, who still represent 11.5% of the French population (over 12 years).

Then, the ban on sweets in the dining room represents a huge shortfall for the players in the sector. Indeed, according to a study carried out in 2018 on the sale of sweets at the cinema, in 2014 it represented nearly 15% of annual turnover. If the French spectators eat less than the Americans, this still represents a non-negligible share of income which the operators will have to do without for at least 3 weeks.

On Twitter, Roselyne Bachelot said Since the start of this crisis, the world of culture has shown courage and responsibility. The State will remain alongside those who will be impacted by these new measures, limited in time and adapted to the evolution of the health situation.

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