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New theatre and cinema rules as omicron measures brought in

CINEMA and theatre-goers in Newport, Gwent, and across Wales have new rules to follow, as the latest wave of Covid-19 sweeps the nation.

Amid the rise in confirmed cases of the omicron variant of covid, the Welsh Government has introduced a number of new measures, in a bid to keep the population safe and healthy, and the NHS operational.

But, the public health trade off sees restrictions being brought into other sectors, including hospitality.

It joins the earlier changes brought in for sporting events, which have seen live sport of 50 spectators or more being moved to behind closed doors.

For hospitality, the main change sees the reintroduction of the rule of six indoors.

Face masks are also once again mandatory in these settings – unless a person is eating or drinking.

And, while many events can go ahead, some organisers have decided that the new restrictions, which came into effect on Boxing Day (December 26), have made their businesses unviable – and have subsequently postponed or cancelled their events.

Anyone with tickets to an event in the early parts of 2022 is urged to check in advance that it is still going ahead.

Below, you can see how the latest changes impact on cinemas and theatres.

What are the new changes?

According to the Welsh Government, from Boxing Day, the alert level 2 measures will mean:

A general requirement of two-metre social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.

The rule of six will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.

Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.

Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.

Theatres

In Newport, bosses at the Riverfront Theatre have said: “We are reviewing guidance with regards to performances at The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre and will share more detailed update as soon as we can.

“If you are due to attend a performance during January, someone will be in touch with you in January if your booking is affected. 

“We are hopeful that performances during February will be able to go ahead as planned and will be in touch with customers with tickets for any performances affected by the new guidelines.”

What about cinemas?

Meanwhile, Cineworld, who operate the cinema at Newport’s Spytty Park, said: “As of Sunday, December 26, cinemas in Wales will be subject to two-metres social distancing and a ‘rule of six’.

“Social distancing will be between groups (not individuals) and the ‘rule of six’ will allow groups of up to that number, made up of any number of households, to sit together.

“In England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Jersey, face coverings must be worn by both customers and employees (unless exempt), apart from while eating or drinking.”

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