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Source: Screen International

As cinemas deal with the third wave of closures in 2021, Screen charts the situation in markets across the globe.

This page will provide updates for each territory as they come through, with details on dates, distancing, and distribution where relevant.

Information on European territories has been collated in conjunction with the Union Internationale des Cinémas (UNIC). Dates and timelines have come from national authorities and should be regarded as provisional and subject to change.

Albania - OPEN
Reopening date: June 23
In effect cinemas did not reopen until late October, due to lack of new content to play.

Algeria - CLOSED

American Samoa - CLOSED
Reopening date: Unknown
American Samoa’s one cinema, the Regal Nu’uuli Place Twin, closed on March 17. As of November 9, it is still closed.

Austria - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 6
Cinemas were permitted to reopen from May 29, a month ahead of the originally planned July 1. Most cinemas had reopened by mid-June, with some chains waiting until early July. Attendance will be increased from 250 per room to 500 from August 1. From October 25, a 1-metre distancing rule was placed on all indoor events, with all events of over 250 attendees requiring authorisation. Cinemas reclosed on November 3, with January 6 2021 currently scheduled for their reopening. The reopening may be further delayed, as Austrian cinemas often rely on German distributors for content, and German cinemas are closed until at least December 20. Major Austrian chains have indicated they will not reopen until 2021.

Bahrain - OPEN

Belgium - CLOSED
Reopening date: January TBC
Cinemas were cleared to reopen from July 1, as part of a phased nationwide easing of lockdown measures. Face coverings have been mandatory in theatres since July 11. Cinemas reclosed on October 26 in Brussels and October 29 in the rest of the country; as of late December they were still closed, with a review expected in January.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - OPEN
Reopening date: May 14
Federal authorities in the predominantly Serbian Republika Srpska announced on May 14 that cinemas and cultural institutions could reopen immediately. Some cinemas began reopening the week commencing May 18, with most others following in June.

Bulgaria - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 31
Health minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order on May 11 allowing cinemas to reopen immediately. Despite a spike in cases in mid-July, sites remain open. Wearing masks indoors and outdoors was made compulsory in Bulgaria in October. Cinemas were ordered to close again on November 30, with a reopening date of December 21 ultimately extended until January 31, 2021.

China - OPEN
Reopening date: July 20
After the closure of all cinemas on January 24, 500 cinemas reopened on the weekend March 20-22. However, they were ordered to close again on March 28. Cinemas started reopening again on July 20, although Beijing theatres were only allowed to open on July 24. Cinemas in the northeast city of Dalian were closed again on July 23 after a cluster of cases were reported. Less than half the country’s cinemas opened in the first week, all of which are operating at 30% capacity to allow for appropriate social distancing between customers, for whom face masks are mandatory.

Croatia - OPEN
Reopening date: May 18
Cinemas were allowed to reopen from May 18, but those located in shopping malls had to wait until June 15. Following second spike, measures on gatherings of more than 100 people were introduced on July 10 and face masks were made mandatory from July 15 for all staff that work with customers. Following a spike in cases from September onwards, gatherings of more than 50 people were banned from October 14.

Cyprus - CLOSED
Reopening date: December 31
Open-air cinemas reopened as part of the country’s third phase of removing lockdown measures, which began on June 9. Indoor cinemas were expected to open from July 14 as part of phase four, but that has been postponed to early August. Local cinema operators have decided to reopen in September. From October 22-November 9, cinemas in the major cities of Limassol and Paphos were required to close by 22.30 each day, ahead of 23.00 city-wide curfews. All cinemas were required to close again from December 11, with December 31 the current proposed reopening date.

Czech Republic - CLOSED
Reopening date: TBC
The final part of the Czech Republic’s five-step reopening process saw all businesses, including cinemas, reopen from May 11. Social distancing of 2 metres remains in place but mask wearing is no longer mandatory and an occupancy limit of 100 people has been removed. On Monday, October 12 cinemas were ordered to close again for a two-week period, following a spike in cases. The closure was extended until at least November 20; and then extended to an undetermined date, with gatherings of more than two people still forbidden from November 20.

Denmark - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 4
All 169 Danish cinemas had been shut since partial lockdown was announced by the government on March 12. Cinemas, along with other cultural institutions, were allowed to reopen from May 21, more than two weeks earlier than initially proposed. Mask wearing was made mandatory in public places, including cinemas, from October 29. Cinemas in the North Jutland region were required to close again on November 6, affecting roughly 280,000 people; a December 3 date has been scheduled for their reopening. All social activities including cinemas were required to close from December 9, with January 4, 2021 the current scheduled reopening date.

Egypt - OPEN

Estonia - OPEN
Reopening date: June 1
Large public events were given the greenlight to go-ahead from June 1. Cinema opted to begin reopening from mid-June, limited to 500 people and 50% room occupancy.

Finland - OPEN IN AREAS
Reopening date: June 1
Cinemas were cleared to reopen from June 1, with indoor gatherings limited to 500 people. The Finnish Film Foundation has received an extra €1m of government funding to secure the future of cinemas across the country. Major chains chose to start reopening from the last week of June. On November 20 it was announced that gatherings of more than 20 people are forbidden in the Helsinki region. It was announced on 28 November that all public events and gatherings of more than 10 people would be banned in the regions of Helsinki-Uusimaa and Päijät-Häme. The region of Helsinki alone represents 30% of the Finnish population / 35-40% of the national cinema market. Most cinemas in those two regions have decided to close, while a few will continue to operate with a limit of 10 cinema-goers per screenings. Gatherings are also limited to 30 people in the regions of Joensuu, Kontiolahti, and Lieksa, from 29 November to 6 December. 

France - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 7
The French government announced in late April that cinemas, along with other arts venues, would remain closed until least June 2. On May 28 it was announced that cinemas would be able to reopen from June 22. France’s 6,000 cinemas had been closed since March 14. Large cultural events involving 5,000 or more people are banned until September at the earliest, with Cannes Film Festival among the events to have suffered due to the ban. On October 28 all cinemas closed as the country went back into full lockdown for a planned four weeks, with a potential reopening of November 28. On November 24 it was announced that cinemas will be allowed to reopen from December 15; however following an increase in cases, the closure was extended until at least January 7. The FNCF is challenging the closure in France’s highest court, with a decision expected on December 23. 

Germany - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 10
German reopening took place on a state level, with 14 of 16 states announcing dates as of June 1. The North Rhine-Westphalia region became the first to announce its plans on May 11, saying arts venues including cinemas could reopen from May 30, with patrons required to distance 1.5m from each other. Further regions announced as follows: Hessen (346 screens in 2019) from May 15; Saxony (247), Schleswig-Holstein (175) and Saarland (67) from May 18; Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (141) from May 25; Hamburg (87) and Rhineland-Palatinate (224) from May 27; Sachsen-Anhalt (130) from May 28; Baden-Württemberg (691) from June 1; Thuringia (138), Brandenburg (152) from June 6; Bremen (49) from June 12; Thuringia (138) from June 13; Bavaria (859) from June 15; Lower Saxony (462) from June 22; and Berlin (284) from June 30. North Rhine-Westphalia re-imposed a lockdown in the local districts of Gütersloh and Warendorf from June 23-30. Germany is going back into ‘lockdown-lite’ from November 2, with all cinemas to close for at least a month. December 1 had been tentatively marked for reopening; however the lockdown has been extended until at least January 10.

Greece - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 18
The first lockdown ended in Greece on May 4, with all cinemas able to open from June 29. However on Monday, September 21, indoor cinemas were closed again due to a new wave of the virus, with Greek authorities set to review the situation on October 4. Distributors and exhibitors told Screen that they expect indoor cinemas to remain closed until at least the end of October if cases continue to rise at the current rate. As of Monday, October 12, indoor cinemas are allowed to reopen, depending on the Covid status of the area (which also affects the permitted capacity). Cinemas were required to close again from November 7, with most having closed in the days prior, due to a nationwide lockdown. January 18 is the current proposed reopening date, which has been extended several times; exhibitors who spoke to Screen said they did not anticipate reopening until February at earliest.

Hong Kong - OPEN
Reopening date: Unknown
The government relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in early May, with cinemas opening from the second weekend of the month. However, a rise in cases in mid-July saw chief executive Carrie Lam order cinemas to close again from July 15.

Hungary - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 11
Hungary’s ‘state of emergency’ was lifted on June 18, allowing the immediate reopening of cinemas. However, most decided to reopen in early July, with operators sending a proposal for 75% occupancy to government. Following a new curfew on November 4, cinemas could remain open but only filling every third seat, and all premises had to be closed between midnight and 5am. All cinemas were closed from November 11, for a period of at least 30 days; this was extended to January 11, 2021.

Iceland - OPEN
Reopening date: May 4
Cinemas were permitted to reopen with a 50 person per screen limit on May 4 but just a handful of the country’s 29 screens chose to do so.

Iraq - OPEN

Ireland - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 31
The Irish government outlined its exit strategy on May 1, with cinemas initially part of the final phase starting on August 10. That was initially moved forward to July 20 before shifting further to June 29. All cinemas were forced to close again on October 7, as part of new Covid-19 regulations in place for a minimum of three weeks. This was then extended until at least December 2. On November 27 it was confirmed that cinemas, along with other indoor hospitality venues, could reopen from December 1, due to a decline in Covid-19 cases. They were forced to close again just over three weeks later on December 24 due to a rise in cases putting the whole country into ’tier five’ - in effect, a new lockdown. This was initially until January 12, then extended until at least January 31.

Israel - CLOSED

Italy - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 15
A May 16 announcement said cinemas could reopen from June 15, limited to 200 people per room. Audience members must wear a mask when they enter the cinema but can remove it when they sit inside the screening room. Italy was one of the first European nations to impose lockdown measures. Cinemas were required to close again on October 26, until at least November 24, as part of restrictions on recreational activities. This date was later extended to December 3, and then January 15, 2021.

Jordan - CLOSED

Kosovo - OPEN
Reopening date: October 1
A three-step reopening plan for the country saw a proposed reopening date of June 1 for cinemas. But a second spike in cases saw that postponed; the new date finally landed on October 1.

Kuwait - CLOSED

Latvia - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 11
Although gatherings of 25 people and the reopening of all business (including cinemas) have been allowed since May 12, most cinemas decided not to reopen immediately. Occupancy limits were increased to 100 from June 9 and 250 from August 1. Mask-wearing is mandatory in all public spaces. Cinemas were closed again on November 9, until at least December 6; this was later extended to January 11, 2021.

Lebanon - CLOSED

Libya - CLOSED

Lithuania - CLOSED
Reopening date: December 31
Indoor events, including cinemas, of under 30 people were permitted as of May 31. The first cinema to actually reopen did so on June 5. Social distancing rules remain in place. Cinemas were required to close again on November 7 as part of a three-week lockdown; this was subsequently extended to December 31.

Luxembourg - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 15
The government announced that cinemas could reopen from May 29. Exhibitors chose to resume screenings from June 17. A curfew was introduced on October 28, banning gatherings between 11pm and 6am. Cinemas were required to close again on November 26, for a period of at least three weeks; this was then extended to January 15.

Malta - OPEN
Reopening date: June 5
While cinemas were given the go-ahead to resume business from June 5, most started reopening from the week commencing June 22. Masks are mandatory.

Montenegro - OPEN
Reopening date: June 1
Cinemas were cleared to reopen from June 1 but local operators decided to resume screenings from early July.

Morocco - CLOSED

Netherlands - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 19
A May 6 announcement said restaurants and cinemas could reopen on June 1. Following incremental restrictions across the previous weeks, all cinemas were required to close from November 4 for at least a two-week period. It was confirmed on November 17 that Dutch cinemas could reopen from November 19, with a maximum occupancy of 30 cinema-goers per room. All cinemas were required to close again from December 15, with January 19, 2021 the current reopening date.

North Macedonia - OPEN
Reopening date: September 24
Cinemas were allowed to reopen following the first lockdown from September 24. The government announced a state of emergency from November 20 for a period of at least 30 days; however it is not yet clear what this means for cinemas in the region.

Norway - OPEN IN AREAS
Reopening date: May 7 (Oslo closed from November 6)
Norway’s 211 cinemas were authorized to reopen from May 7 with a 50-person capacity, which increased to 200 people on June 15. They had been shut since March 12. Cinemas in Oslo reclosed on November 6, with no current reopening date.

Oman - CLOSED

Palestine - OPEN

Poland - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 19
The fourth phase of lockdown easing saw cinemas allowed to reopen from June 6, with capacity limited to 50% and mask-wearing mandatory. The Polish government mandated all cinemas to close again on November 7 until at least November 29. These measures were later extended to December 27. The country will enter a national lockdown from December 28 to at least January 19.

Portugal - OPEN
Reopening date: June 1
Cinemas were allowed to reopen on June 1, with limited capacity. The state of emergency in Lisbon’s 19 districts was extended until July 29, including restrictions on operating hours for businesses.

Qatar - CLOSED

Romania - OPEN
Reopening date: September 1
On July 14, the country’s state of emergency was extended for a further 30 days, thereby prohibiting the reopening of cinemas. This was finally lifted at the beginning of September. Several regions reclosed cinemas from mid-October onwards for two weeks; mask-wearing is mandatory in all enclosed public spaces.

Russia - OPEN
Reopening date: July 15
Russia’s deputy prime minister announced on June 2 that Russia’s cinemas could reopen from July 15. Sakhalin and Leningrad regions allowed cinemas to reopen in late June. In Moscow, cinemas with a capacity of less than 3,000 people will be able to re-open at 50% capacity from August 1. Karo Cinemas, Russia’s leading cinema chain, began opening its Moscow venues from that date; its cinemas in St Petersburg and the regions will reopen on dates between August 16 and September 1. St Petersburg ordered cinemas to operate at maximum 25% occupancy from December 1. 

Saudi Arabia - OPEN

Serbia - OPEN
Reopening date: August 24
While cleared to reopen from July 1, most cinemas have remained closed. Major chains are expected to resume business in August. Face masks have been mandatory at indoor establishments since July 17.

Singapore - OPEN
Reopening date: July 13
Cinemas in Singapore were allowed to reopen from July 13 with safety measures in place. These include social distancing of 1m and a maximum capacity of 50 per room. Masks are mandatory.

Slovakia - CLOSED
Reopening date: TBC
Slovakia has been reopening its public areas since April 22, with cinemas allowed to reopen from May 20. Most sites had reopened by June 15, when the capacity limit was increased from 100 to 500 people per room. A new state of emergency meant cinemas had to close again from October 15; they were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity from November 16. On December 19 they were required to close again, with no reopening date yet confirmed.

Slovenia - CLOSED
Reopening date: TBC
Slovenia became the first European nation to call an end to its epidemic on May 14, with all shops and businesses allowed to open from May 18. Most cinemas had reopened by June 1. Cinemas in seven of the country’s 12 regions (all but two of the country’s venues) were required to close again from October 16 for two weeks; this was extended by a further two weeks on October 30, and again on November 13. As of December 2, they were still closed, with no confirmed reopening date. The country is currently enacting mass testing.

Spain - OPEN IN AREAS
Reopening date: November 23
Cinemas were cleared to open from May 25 while cinemas in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona reopening after June 8. However, a local lockdown started on July 4 in Segrià after an increase in cases and the Catalan Government declared the closure of all cinemas in Barcelona and its surrounding area from July 18 for a period of two weeks. Cinemas in Barcelona reopened after exhibitors challenged the decision in court. Catalonia required all cinemas to close for two weeks from October 30; they were eventually allowed to reopen from November 23. In Andalusia, cinemas had to close from November 10, with the shutdown further extended to December 10. In Asturia they are closed until December 3

South Korea - OPEN
Reopening date: April 29
South Korean cinemas began to reopen over the four-day national holiday at the end of April.

Sudan - CLOSED

Sweden - CLOSED
In line with the country-wide policy, cinemas in Sweden have not been instructed to close at any stage. The country’s largest exhibitor Filmstaden did close its venues, comprising 65% of the market, on March 12 in line with the global policy of its owner AMC. However, some independent cinemas remained open with social distancing measures in place. A government-mandated ban on public events of more than eight people from November 16 did not specifically include cinemas; however it did force many cinemas to close. Filmstaden reclosed its venues on November 24, until at least December 22.

Switzerland - CLOSED
Reopening date: January 22
As the third phase of Switzerland’s reopening plan, cinemas were given the green light to reopen as of June 6. Local areas began reimposing restrictions from October 21; roughly a third of the country’s market was closed from early November. All cinemas were required to close from December 12 until at least January 22, 2021.

Tunisia - CLOSED

Turkey - CLOSED
Reopening date: December 31
Turkey’s national lockdown was lifted on June 1 and cinemas were allowed to reopen from July 3, with some major exhibitors holding back until mid-July. It was announced on November 17 that all cinemas were required to close immediately, until December 31.

UK: CLOSED
Reopening date: TBC (England, Scotland, Wales); February 6 (Northern Ireland)
The government announced its exit strategy for England on May 10, indicating that cinemas could reopen from July 4. The devolved nations that comprise the rest of the UK saw Northern Ireland reopen cinemas on July 10 while Scotland confirmed a July 15 date and Wales cleared the reopening of venues July 27. At the end of July, the UK government announced that face coverings in cinemas would become mandatory and enforceable in law from August 8. On October 5 Cineworld, the biggest exhibitor in the country which also runs the Picturehouse boutique chain, announced it was closing all its venues on October 9, as a “temporary” measure with no current reopening date. As cases rose again in the autumn, cinemas were required to close in Wales and Northern Ireland from October 16; in Scotland from November 2; and in England from November 5. Cinemas in Wales began to reopen on November 9, but closed again from December 4; they reopened in certain areas in England from December 2. When England exited lockdown on December 2, the country entered into a tier system, whereby cinemas will be allowed to open with social distancing measures in tiers one and two, but must be closed in tier 3 and above. As of January 1, 2021, all areas in England were in tier three or four meaning all cinemas were closed; bar the Isles of Scilly, which has no operating cinemas. The same is true for Scotland; while Northern Ireland began a strict six-week lockdown on December 26 until at least February 6, 2021; and Wales has been in lockdown since December 20, until further notice.

Ukraine - OPEN
Reopening date: July 2
Cinemas were allowed to reopen from June 10 in the third phase of the country’s five stage easing of lockdown measures. However, operators asked local authorities to postpone reopening to July 2, as they believe they would not be able to effectively operate before then. A weekend curfew was introduced in November; most cinemas chose to stay open on weekdays.

United Arab Emirates - OPEN

US - OPEN IN AREAS
Reopening date: varies according to state
Cinemas were reopening in the US on a state-by-state basis, with Georgia opening sites from mid-May and Texas following suit. California, a key state, has generally not seen cinemas reopen and they are expected to do so in early August Cineworld-owned Regal Cinemas was set to open from July 10, before a delay until July 31. AMC pushed back its reopenings until mid to late August. Following a substantial rise in Covid-19 cases, on July 13 California governor Gavin Newsom ordered all indoor cinemas to close.