Cinema in Covid pass row ordered to closeon November 26, 2021 at 7:59 pm

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Welsh government says it issued the order on public health grounds under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Anna Redfern

A cinema has been ordered to close by the Welsh government after its owner failed to show up for her court case.

Anna Redfern did not turn up at Swansea Magistrates’ Court after the city council told her to close Cinema & Co for refusing to ask for Covid passes.

Covid passes are a legal requirement, and the cinema remained open despite being told to close.

The Welsh government said it had issued the order on public health grounds under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Ms Redfern, who runs the 56-seat independent cinema, was served with a closure notice by the council on 18 November after allegedly failing to comply with several coronavirus regulations.

Covid passes have been a legal requirement for anyone over 18 in Wales for nightclubs and large-scale events since 11 October.

This was expanded to theatres, concert halls and cinemas on 15 November and means people must show a pass to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test result within the past 48 hours.

Cinema & Co.

In a Facebook post, the business said the new rules were “unfair and killing the entertainment industry”.

It said it would “take a stand” against the “discriminatory and unlawful” measures.

The decision was met with a mixed response, with some criticising the independent cinema’s stance and others voicing their support.

The Welsh government said: “Recently the local authority identified a series of breaches of the coronavirus regulations at the premises.

“The premises was previously served with a notice requiring it to close due to the risk to public health.

“As the owner has chosen not to comply with this legal requirement, Welsh ministers have taken further enforcement action.”

The Welsh government said it would not comment further as legal proceedings were ongoing.

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