Cinemas in England Could Reopen May 17 as Lockdown Exit Plan Unveiled

Cineworld
Courtesy of Cineworld

Cineworld in London's Leicester Square

With COVID-19 infections falling and a vaccinations program underway, a four-stage roadmap for the easing of restrictions has been announced.

Cinemas in England, which have been closed since the third and current lockdown was put in place in December, could be allowed to open across the country by May 17.

With COVID-19 cases falling and a vaccinations program underway, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed a four-step roadmap for the easing of restrictions, starting next month.

Phase one, from March 3, will see schools reopen, following by phase two on March 29, which will allow for some outdoor sports activities. Phase three on April 12 will allow for the reopening of drive-in cinemas, while all cinemas and theaters can reopen for the fourth phase on May 17.

However, the roadmap is contingent on several conditions, chiefly that there is clear evidence that the vaccinations program is reducing deaths and hospitalizations and that the country doesn't experience another surge in hospital admissions.

As part of the roadmap, from March 29 people across England will be allowed to travel out of their areas, although they will be encouraged to remain local and avoid overnight stays.

The U.K. recorded almost 10,000 coronavirus cases on Feb 21 and 215 deaths, significantly down from the high in January where the daily infection rate hit an average of 60,000, with 1,500 deaths. So far more than 120,000 people have died in the U.K. from COVID-19.