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US state Georgia could reopen its cinemas as soon as next week

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Brian Kemp, Governor for the US state of Georgia, has said he hopes to reopen some of the state’s cinemas as early as next week.

Part of a wide-ranging reopening plan for the state amid the coronavirus crisis, Kemp has stated his desire to get a number of businesses in the state back up and running by Friday (April 24), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

  • Read more: All the films and TV shows suspended due to coronavirus

Businesses featured in the plan include gyms, hairdressers, bowling alleys and tattoo parlours, with movie theatres and limited restaurants touted to follow next Monday (April 27).

The White House shared a Phase One plan for the United States’ gradual reopening last week, in which states with a low enough number of Covid-19 cases could open establishments if limited to gatherings of 10 or fewer people. It’s not clear yet whether Georgia meets these criteria.

“In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus’s spread, today we’re announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy.” Kemp said in a statement.

“If we continue on the path we are headed down, we will totally destroy not only the U.S. economy, but also the world economy.”

Coronavirus Cinema
Credit: Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

At the time of writing, Georgia has almost 19,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which is the eleventh highest in the US. The state has recorded 733 deaths. Yesterday (April 20), that figure rose, with 790 new cases and 52 deaths.

Kemp is considering the plan to reopen cinemas and other business establishments because he believes that Covid-19 cases in Georgia have “flattened, and appear to be declining”.

As Deadline report, it seems as though no more than 10 people would be allowed to be admitted to a single cinema at a time, and that the theatres that do reopen will likely be screening older releases to begin with.

Last month, China re-closed all its cinemas as the coronavirus crisis continued in the country. The country had reopened over 500 establishments earlier in March as part of a plan to get businesses back to work. “We can’t stay closed forever,” a representative for the Zhongying Golden Palm Cinema in Urumqi told Chinese media.

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