Michael McAdam, the managing director of the Movie House cinema chain, is urging people visiting cinemas and theatres from Monday to remember to have their Covid-19 vaccination passport ready.
Speaking on the Nolan Show on Monday, Mr McAdam said that news reporting that it only applies to licensed venues is “incorrect”.
The Department of Health confirmed on Friday that the regulations around the certification system would not be mandatory “at this stage” to any venue which does not serve alcohol or operate a ‘bring your own’ service.
Mr McAdams said that this information is forgetting about the rules surrounding attending cinemas, theatres and conference halls.
“According to the legislation published on 26 November it does include cinemas, theatres and conference halls,” he said.
“So, people at my cinema will be asked for their Covid status today.
“It’s just to make people aware of that because all the highlights are going towards hospitality, and quite rightly so it was a big change there on Friday, but for indoor events with more than 500 attendees, outdoor events with more than 4,000 attendees , events with more than 10,000 people will be present will be asked as well as to nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and conference halls,” he added.
“That is the legislation, that is what is taking place today, so if you are going to the cinema or the theatre tonight you will be asked, and we are required by law to ask you what your status is.”
When asked how the cinema boss felt about the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine passport system he said that “it is probably for the better good”.
“If it’s driven up the amount of people getting vaccinated this weekend then it has to be a good thing,” he said, adding that many cinema-goers are feeling more confident attending the big screen showings.
“We are seeing more people booking and we believe people are confident in coming.
“We have a variation in our showtimes so people who maybe feel a bit more vulnerable are encouraged to go to showings in the afternoons and they are doing that, people are taking the time and seeing what shows are busy and making their decision accordingly.”
The mandatory scheme comes into operation across the hospitality sector on Monday, though enforcement of fines for non-compliance will not begin until two weeks later on December 13.
Under the policy, people wishing to gain entry to designated venues will need to demonstrate evidence of Covid-19 vaccination, a negative lateral flow test result, or proof of a coronavirus infection within the previous six months.