Poland Introduces New COVID-19 Restrictions for Cinemas

    Poland Introduces New COVID-19 Restrictions for Cinemas photo: Helios

    WARSAW: Polish cinemas will be allowed to sell tickets only to 30% of their capacity to unvaccinated viewers and will not be allowed to serve food and beverages, as of 15 December 2021.

    Further restrictions introduced by the Polish Ministry of Health in relation to the growing number of COVID-19 infections cover cultural institutions, including cinemas and theatres. The limit of seats taken by viewers who are not vaccinated will be reduced to 30% from 15 December 2021. The limit does not include viewers who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Cinema owners and distributors reacted quickly to the new restrictions. Gutek Film, the distributor of Pedro Almodóvar's latest film Parallel Mothers, has already announced that the premiere of this long-awaited production is postponed from 31 December 2021 to 18 February 2022.

    The restriction on the sale of food and beverages was met with a lot of backlash.

    “The ban on sales in cinema bars is completely incomprehensible, while restaurants in Poland will be able to operate all the time, and their customers will be able to eat meals on the spot in the premises,” said Tomasz Jagiełło, President of the Helios cinema chain. “There has been no explanation as to why the cinema industry has been subject to such restrictions, and double restrictions, together with a reduced limit on the sale of cinema seats.”