Covid 'Plan B' could bring more success, believes cinema boss
- Credit: Nathan Smith/Adrian Dennis/PA
An independent cinema believes the government’s decision to introduce mandatory face coverings in indoor venues could lead to more business success.
The Luxe Cinema in Wisbech is one setting where filmgoers and staff must wear a face covering from today (Friday) as part of the government’s ‘Plan B’ strategy in light of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
Nathan Smith, cinema manager, feels the latest ruling is a preventative rather than a reactive measure to stem the spread of coronavirus.
“It feels like proper, preventative measures are being brought in and not a knee-jerk reaction,” he said.
“I feel very confident it’s a relevant thing to ask of us and I think it’s the least disruptive measure.”
Since the pandemic began, the Luxe has reported no Covid cases and have seen a rise of around 40 per cent in cleaning costs.
But Nathan feels these measures, alongside the mandatory face coverings, are all necessary heading into the peak of winter.
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“We would not open if we felt it wasn’t safe to watch a film as nothing is more important than making sure everyone can visit with a degree of confidence,” he said.
“If you cut corners, you could still increase the risk (of catching Covid) and anything to remove that risk is worth that extra time.
“People understand what the national effort is to help save a life; it’s not like we’re going to be the only place that is putting in this measure.”
The ‘Plan B’ restrictions come over a week after an individual was diagnosed with the Omicron variant in Cambridgeshire.
Last year, Nathan called for more respect for those who are unable to wear a face covering due to ‘hidden disabilities’ after a girl living with autism was subject to abuse for not wearing a mask.
But he thinks compulsory face coverings do not come as a surprise as it becomes “ordinary behaviour to wear one.
“We don’t have to shine a torch in people’s faces to check if they’re following the measures.
“We’ll just carry on as we do and I feel the number of customers will increase.
“If it means someone feels more confident because of face coverings, that number will only go up.”