Alongside Czech Republic and parts of Romania, Slovakia is now among the latest Central European countries to order the re-shuttering of its cinemas amid an escalation of COVID-19 cases, Deadline has confirmed. Movie theaters in Slovakia will close from this Thursday (October 15) after originally closing on March 9 and reopening May 20. A state of emergency had earlier been declared in Slovakia on October 1, though the decree at the time did not include cinemas.
According to the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic’s Facebook page, Culture Minister Natália Milanová said, “Unfortunately, if we don’t have a vaccine available, only the restriction of travel, mobility and social contacts will effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19.“ Among major exhibitors, Cineworld has three sites in Slovakia.
Affected alongside cinemas are mass events including theater and musical performances. However, there is an exception for the production of feature and documentary films which are shooting outdoors.
On Monday, Czech Republic confirmed stricter controls, with cinemas, theaters, zoos and gyms all ordered to close for a two-week period. Other leisure venues such as restaurants and bars will have an 8PM curfew.
In Romania, cinemas were ordered to close again in several cities, including Bucharest, from October 7. Per the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the local bans are to be lifted after the incidence rate of COVID-19 cases per 1,000 inhabitants over 14 consecutive days drops under 1.5 in the affected cities.
Europe overall is seeing spikes in coronavirus cases and is imposing tighter restrictions.
In France, several major cities have been put on so-called “maximum alert,” though cinemas for the moment remain relatively unaffected. As with other countries, the government is trying to avoid another total lockdown. President Emmanuel Macron is due to speak tomorrow evening local time to update the country on the latest measures while a curfew in Paris is reportedly being mulled.
In Germany, Berlin’s bars and restaurants have been ordered to close from 11PM to 6AM from October 10-31, at least.
And in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a three-tier alert system as the country looks to implement lockdown measures on a regional basis to combat local outbreaks.