Emergency public health measures to combat COVID-19 are being lifted across Europe, providing a springtime boost for cinema operators. France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that mandatory masking would no longer be required in most public settings, with the exception of mass transit and healthcare facilities. Movie theatres will no longer be required to verify proof of vaccination, the so-called “vaccine passport” which had been required since January. Castex said, “The situation is getting better thanks to our collective efforts. We are therefore going to proceed with a new phase of easing measures.”
The exhibition’s full re-opening is just in time for the Spring and Summer movie season, packed with new releases from major Hollywood studios. A modern-day blockbuster needs significant contributions from worldwide markets to be successful. However, COVID restrictions have caused significant disruptions to the business model, when some markets would remain open while others were in lockdown. With Omicron’s tide now receding, this industry is hopeful that the summer of recovery is now at hand.