Cinemas in England and Scotland set to re-open with reduced social distancing

25 Jun 2020

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It is welcome news that Cinemas are in England and Scotland are due to re-open in July.

Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that lockdown restrictions will be partially eased for England, and Wednesday’s announcement from the Scottish government will mean a considerable part of the UK’s exhibition sector will emerge. 

This can’t come soon enough. The sector is estimated have a total daily loss of £5.76 million, which thus far (based on lockdown from 20 March to 30 June) amounts to c.£588 million in lost revenue. 

The exhibition sector employs over 22,000 people in the UK, generating an estimated £1.8 billion in revenue and contributed £700 million in gross valued added (GVA) for the UK economy.

In order to make this proposal viable, the Prime Minister has made the much-requested reduction to the social distancing measures down to “one metre plus”. This means that, where possible, people should remain at two metres distance, however this can be one metre at a minimum. 

Stephen Bristow, a partner in Saffery Champness’ Film & TV Team, commented: 

“The reduced social distancing is vitally important as it will help all indoor businesses to increase their capacity, potentially moving towards, or even above, that all important break-even point.

“This is a first step in reigniting the UK film industry. A sector that – according to BFI’s Screen Business – generated over 86,000 full-time equivalent jobs and £5.2 billion in GVA in 2016 – and by all accounts, continued to generate approximately the same level of economic contribution in 2019.”

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