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What Canadians can expect at the movies as COVID restrictions ease


With the release of the highly anticipated The Batman attracting film lovers from across the country, find out what the rules are for theatres

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Amid the current loosening of provincial COVID restrictions is the release of the hotly anticipated The Batman directed by Matt Reeves, which is set to have its wide release on March 4. People can understandably be confused at what to expect when going to movie theatres, as public health restrictions are changing rapidly and vary widely by province. Below is a compilation of all current health measures for movie theatres for provinces and territories in Canada, to make use of when going to check out the latest Batman flick.

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Yukon

Indoor capacity limits have been removed. People aged 19 and over must show their proof of vaccination, and mask wearing is mandatory. On March 18, mask wearing and proof of vaccination will be phased out. All remaining public health measures will be removed on April 4.

British Columbia

The wearing of masks in indoor settings is still mandated. No capacity limits are imposed on indoor venues, though proof of vaccination is still required to be shown for entry.

Northwest Territories

All gathering restrictions have been eliminated alongside the removal of the province’s vaccine passport. Businesses can continue to use the system if they wish. Face masks remain mandatory. All public health measures are expected to be discontinued on March 31.

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Alberta

As of March 1, all indoor capacity limits have been lifted. Restrictions on businesses that serve alcohol and food have all been lifted. Alberta’s mask mandate has been lifted. The province had previously scrapped its vaccine passport program on Feb. 9.

Saskatchewan

The usage of masks indoors is no longer required. Businesses may still request that patrons wear masks, however. Additionally, proof of vaccination was phased out on February 14. No public health orders are currently in effect in Saskatchewan.

Nunavut

Indoor gathering restrictions continue to limit movie theatres to 50 per cent capacity. Masks are mandatory as is physical distancing of two metres.

Manitoba

Indoor public spaces are keeping their mask requirement, but patrons can remove them if eating or drinking. Additionally, Manitoba’s proof of vaccination system is no longer required, but businesses can still opt-in to using it.

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Ontario

In Ontario, as of March 1, there are no capacity limits in any indoor setting. Businesses are no longer required to ask patrons to show their proof of vaccination, though they still can if they wish. Mask-wearing is still mandated until further notice.

Quebec

Cinema attendees are expected to show their proof of vaccination to enter theatres until March 12. Attendees are instructed to remain in their seats and to keep a one metre distance from other patrons. The wearing of masks is still required but can be removed when eating or drinking. Theatres that have a capacity of 10,000 or fewer people do not have any gathering limits.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Mask-wearing is still mandated when in indoor public settings. Newfoundland and Labrador’s proof of vaccination system is still in effect for all businesses. Capacity limits for cinemas are in place and are limited to 75 per cent capacity per auditorium. Audience members are permitted to eat and drink but only while sitting. The provincial government has March 14 as the date when all restrictions will be lifted.

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New Brunswick

Proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter indoor spaces. Mask-wearing is still mandated in these spaces. Public gatherings in all venues have no capacity limits. Patrons are instructed to remain seated in theatres. However, the province has put forth a date of March 14 for all remaining COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted.

Nova Scotia

Proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter indoor spaces. Venue capacity limits remain in place at 50 per cent capacity, and masks must be always worn. Additionally, masks cannot be removed to eat or drink. You must go to a designated area in your theatre to eat and drink. Physical distancing must also be adhered to in venues with non-moveable seating such as movie theatres. Nova Scotia will enter Phase 2 of its reopening on March 7, and Phase 3 on March 21. Phase 2 includes increasing capacity limits in indoor spaces and removing the need to eat in a designated area in movie theatres. Phase 3 is the removal of all public health restrictions.

Prince Edward Island

Indoor organized gatherings are capped at 50 per cent capacity and must provide for as much physical distancing as possible. Mask requirements remain in effect. People must be seated when eating and drinking in venues. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required.

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