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Swansea cinema told to shut down after disregarding COVID pass laws

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A cinema in Swansea has been ordered to close after the owner refused to follow Welsh COVID pass laws.

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Anna Redfern, owner of Cinema & Co, said earlier this week she would not comply with Welsh government rules which require customers to show NHS COVID passes in order to legally enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

Speaking to the BBC, Redfern confirmed she’d been told to shut down the cinema by Swansea council.

The council are now “considering further steps” after Cinema & Co remained open on Friday (November 19). The closure notice can remain in place for up to 28 days.

Dear Customers. As an independent business, we will NOT be implementing the nonsensical & unnecessary Covid passports…

Posted by Cinema & Co on Monday, November 15, 2021

Speaking about the ruling previously, Redfern said: “I know a lot of businesses who are complying with this out of fear, I’m hoping by making a stand in this way it will give others courage to follow suit.”

She added: “We should make these decisions for ourselves and not the government. They shouldn’t be gatekeepers of culture.”

The new laws have been implemented following a surge of COVID cases in Wales. While case rates have dropped since, First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed in a recent 21-day review (via ITV News) the COVID rules will remain unchanged in the region.

The COVID pass rule was extended to include theatres, cinemas and concert halls in Wales on November 15, which requires anyone attending to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test within the past 48 hours.

Speaking about the law at the time, the Welsh government said: “The use of the NHS COVID pass for cinemas, theatres and concert halls is required by law in Wales – it is not optional for these venues.

“Cases of coronavirus in Wales remain very high. The NHS COVID pass is another way we’re strengthening the measures we have in place to keep us all safe.”

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