British Cinema Ordered to Close After Refusing to Check COVID Passports

BETWS-Y-COED, WALES - APRIL 08: A sign implores tourists to stay away and that Wales is closed during the pandemic lockdown on April 08, 2020 in Betws-y-Coed, Wales. There have been over 60,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and 7,000 deaths. The country is in …
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A cinema in Wales has been ordered to close after refusing to check covid passports, stating that the passes infringe on human rights

The Swansea-based Cinema & Co. was ordered to close for 28 days by local authorities on Thursday for not following a number of COVID-19 related procedures, including “not implementing the COVID pass.”

A post on the company’s official Facebook page stated that they would not impose health checks, calling them “nonsensical [and] unnecessary,” while claiming that vaccine passports are “an infringement of our human rights [and] discriminate against those exercising their right to bodily autonomy”.

“We trust you as our valued customers to honour the responsibility that comes with these rights by staying at home if you feel unwell,” the cinema continued.

“We will not discriminate against any customer based on age, race, gender, disability, creed or personal medical choices.”

The local government in Wales, which implemented the requirement to show coronavirus passports in order to enter nightclubs, stadiums, and other large venues earlier this month, extended the rule to cinemas, concert halls and theatres on Monday.

As such, cinema-goers in Wales must now produce a health pass proving that they are either vaccinated or have tested negative for the Chinese coronavirus on a lateral flow test within the last 48 hours in order to gain entry.

Under current regulations in Wales, businesses must complete a COVID Risk assessment before opening their doors, which includes implementing COVID Pass checks if required by law or face a maximum fine for repeat offences of £10,000.

Wales was the second British nation to adopt the domestic use of health passes after Scotland’s separatist government implemented them at the start of October.

According to the BBC, the Cinema remained open on Friday morning despite the order, with the owner, Anna Redfern, behind the till and about a dozen people inside the cinema’s cafe.

Speaking to Wales Online, the owner said: “They keep changing the goalposts, they keep putting up more obstacles and I have a right to earn a living, it puts food on my kids’ table and I’m a single mum, dealing with all this has been extremely challenging.

“There’s a huge discrimination element to these passes and people aren’t able to access their rights, we’re in 2021 and we’re discriminating against those who have chosen to exercise bodily autonomy.

“It just doesn’t fit right with me, people from all walks of life are welcome at Cinema & Co.”

The defiant stance of the cinema has attracted widespread support, with a crowdfunding campaign raising over £50,000 in the first two days, alone.

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