France has banned snacks and drinks at all cinemas due to restrictions following another COVID-19 surge within the country. While the ban is temporary, they have set the restrictions in place as a hope to fight against the increased infection rate, just as they were showing signs of recovery from the brutal economic tank they took after lockdowns last year.
The new Covid measures will kick in Monday, once the New Year celebrations are out of the way. The newly enforced rules will have the popcorn machines on leave and the ice cream left in cold storage.
The ban on eating in drinking in France will extend for up to three weeks, and applies to theatres, sports venues, and public transport.
Cinema owners hoped to lure back moviegoers, the ones who switched to at-home viewing, back with candy and other goodies offered, but not being able to tempt them with treats and soft drinks, the theatres will take another financial blow.
96 million tickets were sold within French cinemas since they reopened eight months ago, a 47 percent jump from what they sold in 2020. Ticket sales are down 55 percent compared to 2019, before the pandemic.
Benoit Cine Distribution, which supplies 70 percent of all France’s cinemas with concessions was deluged with both order postponements and delivery requests from movie theatres, hoping the final week of sales will be good despite the upcoming ban. Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections were expected to be huge draws for the theatres.
While theatre owners are relieved to stay open, despite the ban on snacks, they hope the newly enforced rules will combat the spread of COVID-19 during its latest surge.