This week, the province of Ontario followed the path of its neighbors in Quebec by shutting down movie theatres and many other public venues in order to control the spread of COVID’s Omicron variant. This forced shutdown is another heavy burden for Canada’s largest exhibitor Cineplex, which was forced to lay off more than 5,000 employees after closing all 67 of its theatres in Ontario.
The current layoffs are expected to be temporary since the government’s mandate is set to last for only a few weeks. During this time, the employees will receive unemployment benefits and be rehired quickly once theatres can reopen. South of the border, U.S. states are following a different course, with none having signaled plans to close down theatres or any other public venues to combat rising COVID infections.
See also: Ontario to Shutter Cinemas Amid Omicron Surge (Hollywood Reporter)