Independent cinema brazenly vows it won’t implement Covid pass scheme despite fierce criticism and risk of hefty fine | #socialmedia


An independent cinema has brazenly vowed it will not be implement the Welsh Government’s Covid passports scheme – describing them as “the final nail in the coffin”.

Cinema & Co made the announcement on Facebook arguing the new rules facing cinemas, theatres and concert halls were “unfair and killing the entertainment industry”.

The Welsh Government insists the passes can play a key role in keeping people safe.

But Cinema & Co has vowed to “take a stand” against the new measures claiming they are “discriminatory and unlawful”.

Read more:Theatre and cinema owners fear mandatory Covid Passes in Wales will hit their business

New rules came into force this week resulting in the Covid pass in Wales being extended to cover cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

Cinema & Co said it “will not be implementing the nonsensical & unnecessary Covid passports”.

The independent Cinema is the latest venue in the city centre to announce a direct stand against the Covid passports with ‘The Perch’ also making a change last month.

In a post on their social media, Cinema & Co said: “Dear Customers. As an independent business, we will not be implementing the nonsensical & unnecessary Covid passports here in Swansea, Wales as they are unlawful, an infringement of our human rights & discriminate against those exercising their right to bodily autonomy.

“Covid passes do not give freedom, they take it away.”

The decision has been met with criticism from people.

Sian Beth hart said: “Very disappointing attitude and may well backfire. The overwhelming majority approve of and have had their vaccines, and so are unlikely to frequent a venue that is trumpeting the anti-vaxxer brigade.”

However, others praised the decision and hoped it would encourage more to follow suit.

The decision was made by Anna Redfern, who transformed the venue into a foods and drink location earlier this year after ongoing battles with lockdown.

Anna Redferm, owner, Cinema & Co, Swansea

Now the latest Covid Pass rules have been left unwelcome by the 45-year-old.

She said: “There are businesses that are skirting around the rules, people aren’t using them appropriately and the sheer knowledge that you have to have one of these is putting people off.

“People don’t want to come for this reason and this is why I wanted to say something and take a stand.”

“Businesses are living in fear of losing their livelihoods and I’m in the exact same position, I didn’t want to pretend to comply anymore out of fear” she said.

Cinema&Co. Pillow

Being a single mum-of-two, Anna she has lived in fear over the past year and wanted to take a stand to stop the rules spreading into other industries.

“If this is the hill I am going to die on – then this is the hill I’m going to die on,” she said.

“I’m standing up for what I believe in, it is not fair by any stretch of the imagination – it is killing the entertainment industry and hospitality is even next – it says so in the rules.

Describing the new rules as “discriminatory”, Anna argued that her business has been repeatedly hit over the past year.

“They keep changing the goal posts, 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.

“Theres 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.”

Welsh Government regulations say that businesses have to complete a risk assessment before opening and that should include whether a Covid pass is needed and how it would be enforced. Fixed penalty notices can be given to businesses who breach regulations, with the maximum fine for repeated breaches by businesses being £10,000.

In announcing the Covid passes last month, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the scheme was being introduced after coronavirus cases had risen sharply.

He said: “More people are falling so seriously ill that they need hospital treatment.

“We hope this action will help to turn the tide of this delta. None of us wants to see a return to restrictions but if rates continue to rise, the cabinet will have no choice but to consider raising the alert level at the next review.

“Let’s all work together as a team to reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep Wales open and keep Wales safe.”

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