Cineplex president 'frustrated and disappointed' with Manitoba's announcement
WINNIPEG -- The province of Manitoba has walked back on several proposed changes to public health orders – a move that has 'frustrated and disappointed' the president of a movie theatre company.
Among the province's proposed changes to its public health orders was the potential to reopen movie theatres at a limited capacity.
On Tuesday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said it would be keeping the province at the red or critical level due to the risk of rising COVID-19 variant cases.
The announcement means movie theatres must remain closed a while longer.
"We are extremely frustrated and disappointed with today’s announcement," Ellis Jacob, the president and CEO of Cineplex, said in a written statement.
"Despite clear results showing that cinemas are demonstrably safer than other indoor venues, the provincial government continues to shutter movie theatres for reasons they won’t share with Manitobans."
Jacob said movie theatres can safely accommodate patrons, as seats all face one way and can be assigned to comply with physical distancing standards.
"The auditoriums are immense spaces with high ceilings, guest counts are controlled through showtime scheduling and patrons are encouraged to remain silent in addition to wearing masks," Jacobs said.
"There is no business that better lends itself to controlling customer flow, ensuring physical distancing, and providing Manitobans with a much-needed escape from being stuck inside as they have been for months."
A spokesperson for the province said large gatherings of people for long periods of time present the greatest COVID-19 transmission risk.
"Mitigating that risk is considered when public health orders are being developed," the spokesperson told CTV News in an email.
"Further, we cannot open all services and activities at once or we will be back in the same situation as we were in the fall."