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Council closes cinema that refused to follow COVID rules

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Swansea Council’s licensing and trading standards officers issued a 28 day closure notice to independent cinema Cinema & Co last night (Thursday 18 November).

The move comes after cinema manager Anna Redfern published a ‘manifesto’ to the businesses social media on Wednesday saying that the Welsh Government’s introduction of a COVID pass for cinemas, theatres and music halls was an “infringement of our human rights”.

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Redfern refused to implement the COVID pass law at her cinema, calling it “nonsensical” and “unnecessary”.

Council Licencing and Trading Standards officers visited the Castle Street business on Thursday evening and issued an immediate 28 day closure notice.

The notice said that Cinema and Co had not completed a COVID risk assessment, staff had no training on how to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and there was no implementation of the COVID pass scheme.

It was also noted that there was no signage advising customers to wear face coverings and there was inadequate cleaning products to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The business will now remain closed for 28 days unless they can show that they have taken measures to address the issues highlighted.

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Campaigners who oppose the Welsh Government’s COVID-19 regulations immediately launched a crowdfunder for Redfern to cover the costs of her closure.

Aiming to raise £10,000, the fundraiser reached over £25,000 overnight.

Prior to the closure, the Welsh Government said: “The use of NHS COVID pass for cinemas, theatres and concert halls is required by law in Wales – it is not optional for these venues.

“Cases of coronavirus in Wales remains very high. The NHS COVID pass is another way we’re strengthening the measures we have n place to keep us all safe.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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