The UK Cinema Association has today published safeguarding guidelines for the re-opening of drive-in cinemas, the first step in the recovery of the UK cinema sector from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Drive-in cinemas – which are allowed to open in England from 15 June – have seen something of a resurgence in recent weeks, and the guidelines are intended to provide advice on a range of measures that drive-in operators should take to ensure that they are able to ensure the continued safety of customers and staff.

Welcoming the launch of the document – Working with COVID-19 in Drive-In Cinemas – UK CInema Association Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

‘It’s fair I think to say that we’ve been on a steep learning curve around the operation of drive-in cinemas given their relative scarcity until now. I’m particularly grateful therefore for the support of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the British Film Institute and the Independent Cinema Office in producing these new guidelines.

While we will be delighted to see drive-ins flourish int he coming weeks, months and years, our key focus remains on ensuring that the hundreds of cinema venues across the UK that have now been closed for almost three months are able to open as soon as possible. Our work on guidelines for those sites continues, and we hope to make an announcement soon.’

The guidelines – which can be found here – have been prepared in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the British Film Institute, the Screen Sector Task Force, the Independent Cinema Office and Bectu, Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the devolved nations.

This guidance currently only relates to activities permitted by UK Government regulation in England from 15 June 2020. Public health is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; this guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.