One in four patients not reached by test and trace system

Extra cleaning, staggered film start times and a focus on online booking are some of the measures cinemas will be encouraged to implement as they re-open their doors from July 4.

The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) has released guidance for the safe re-opening of movie theatres, following consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It includes measures to ensure social distancing throughout cinemas, with an emphasis on auditoriums and enhanced cleaning and hygiene procedures.

Plastic screens will be installed at “key contact points” and film schedules will be adjusted to allow cleaning between screenings and to avoid crowding in corridors.

Customers will also be asked to use contactless payment where possible, the guidance said, while online booking  is encouraged.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the association, said: “The launch represents an important next step in our efforts to once again bring the big screen experience to the cinema-going public.

“We know from recent surveys that a large proportion of our audience can’t wait to come back, but they understandably want to know the steps that cinemas will be taking to ensure their continued welfare.”

Showcase Cinemas said it will reopen on July 4 while Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas have announced plans to reopen on July 10. In Scotland, cinemas can reopen from July 15.