Vue cinema chief casts doubts on use of Covid vaccine passports after restrictions lifted on July 19

A cinema chain boss has cast doubt on the use of vaccine passports.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 10:58 am
Hartlepool's Vue cinema. Photo: Google
Hartlepool's Vue cinema. Photo: Google

Vaccine passports would create a “significant barrier” between cinemas and their customers, the general manager of Vue in the UK and Ireland has said.

The chain has 91 cinemas across the UK and Ireland, including in Hartlepool’s Marina Way.

Vue general manager Toby Bradon said the industry did not believe that asking customers to provide certification when seeing a film would make the cinema experience “a safer one”.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, July 12, that remaining coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on July 19.

It means people will no longer be legally required to wear face masks or socially distance, with capacity limits on events and venues being scrapped too.

However, Boris Johnson has encouraged businesses and large events to use so-called “vaccine passports” as a “matter of social responsibility”.

Mr Bradon has welcomed the announcement that most measures would end next week and said Vue would be continuing with its coronavirus safety measures, including enhanced sanitation and regular cleaning.

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But he cast doubt over the use of Covid passports, saying that the industry doesn’t believe using them will make the cinema experience safer.

He said: “As I say, we aim to deliver a safe and enjoyable environment and we believe we deliver that at Vue. We, in general, believe that is delivered across the cinema industry as well.

“We have had a growing number of people coming back to the cinema so they are feeling more comfortable and we have had great feedback from those that have come.

“As an industry, we don’t believe that the use of Covid status certificates or passports will make the cinema experience a safer one, and there are also at the same time significant issues in terms of discrimination.

“We believe it will build a significant barrier between the sector, the industry and its customers, when we are trying to rebuild the business – rebuilding it safely but in an enjoyable way at the same time.”

There were 877.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to July 8, up from 419.6 in the previous seven days.

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