Cinemas: do you still have to wear the mask in theaters?

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Can you now eat your popcorn in front of a movie without worrying about the mask? While the government has announced that wearing a mask will no longer be compulsory in places in which the health pass would be required, the case of cinemas remains in practice still uncertain. “The obligations to wear a mask are not applicable to people who have accessed establishments, places and events” via the health pass, however, provides for the new decree published in the official journal. “Where there is the” anti-Covid-19 health pass, people “will be able to remove the mask”, because “that means that we are sure that all the people who come in are fully vaccinated or have a very recent test which is negative”, had even assured Olivier Véran on RTL this Tuesday, July 20.

In practice, the health pass has been compulsory since Wednesday July 21 in places of culture welcoming at least 50 people, such as museums, performance halls and… cinemas! However, the decree published in the official journal specifies that wearing a mask may be made compulsory by the prefect of the department, but also by decision of the operator of a company or the organizer of a sporting or cultural event. The choice could therefore be made on a case-by-case basis. Several major cinema networks have already chosen caution by ensuring that masks are still worn in their rooms.

“In my region, near La Rochelle, the contamination figures are exploding when the situation was calm ten days ago. It’s a crazy thing. It is obvious that prefectural decisions will be taken. I prefer not to scramble the message to spectators and keep the mask compulsory”, announced to Figaro Jocelyn Bouyssy, CEO of the CGR group, the third French network. “The fourteen French Kinépolis cinemas also ask spectators to keep their masks on as a preventive measure”, said Anne-Sophie Le Guiader, sales director of the Belgian network of multiplexes. Le Figaro also reveals that UGC cinemas have kept the obligation to wear a mask in their rooms this Wednesday, July 21 in the morning. The journalists also noted that the Pathé-Gaumont and MK2 multiplexes had maintained the obligation to wear a mask despite government announcements.

“Everyone will settle down quickly. The final idea is to play the game, to push as many young people as possible to quickly get vaccinated so that at the start of the school year, we can avoid being confined again”, testifies also an important cinema network boss with Le Figaro. Among the arguments put forward to keep the mask, there is the risk of generalized contact cases if a positive case is found among people not wearing the mask. In the departments where cases are exploding such as the Alpes-Maritimes or the Pyrénées-Orientales, given that the wearing of the compulsory mask has been restored outside, it is also very likely that the prefects will decide to keep the wearing of the mask. in cinemas.