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Germany has moved to tighten its coronavirus regulations, restricting public gatherings and limiting the number of people who can meet privately, in a bid to prevent another deadly wave of COVID-19 infections from overwhelming national health services here.
But the new measures, announced Tuesday night, will not include shutting down German movie theaters. Instead, current regulations, which require all visitors to prove they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from a COVID-19 infection, so-called 2G rules, will remain in place in cinemas across the country. Theaters can also require people to present a negative COVID test.
Over the weekend, Denmark and the Netherlands, both of which border Germany, shut down all their cinemas until mid-January amid a spike in COVID cases driven by the new, highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus.
The new restrictions come as the European box office had begun to bounce back. Returns across Europe for Spider-Man: No Way Home this past weekend hit pre-pandemic levels, with the superhero movie taking in $42.3 million in the U.K., $19.2 million in France and $13 million in Italy. Cinema owners are hoping to continue the momentum this coming weekend when Warner Bros.’ The Matrix Resurrections rolls out across the continent.
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