COVID-19: Cineplex and the Rio Theatre release statements

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      On the same day that New York's theatre district shut down, LiveNation hit the pause button on all its 2020 arena tours, and the B.C. government banned all gatherings in excess of 250 people, the Cineplex group and Vancouver's Rio Theatre have issued statements outlining their policy regarding COVID-19.

      From Canada's biggest exhibitor Cineplex, whose numerous Lower Mainland theatres and multiplexes include Fifth Avenue and the Scotiabank theatre:

      While the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the current public health risk associated with coronavirus as low, we continue to monitor for developments very closely

      We have implemented additional measures to ensure your safety as well as the safety of our team, including:

      • Introducing enhanced cleaning protocols in all of our locations, with particular focus on high traffic and high contact areas. Coronaviruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning and the cleaning products we use are industrial-grade and food-service approved
      • Increasing communications and reminders with our guests, partners and employees on important health and safety measures

      To protect yourself and others, we ask that anyone who is feeling unwell refrain from visiting us so that together we can ensure a safe and comfortable experience for everyone. Know that we are doing our part by putting employment policies in place so that our hourly staff are protected and are not penalized financially if they need to stay home.

      Meanwhile, Vancouver's popular independent Rio Theatre issued the following media release:

      In response to the concerns around COVID-19 relative to public gatherings, the Rio’s management and staff want to assure our patrons that we are taking all the appropriate cleaning and sanitizing measures possible.

      •  We have increased cleaning measures of all high-traffic surfaces - before and after every screening.
      • Management and staff are following suggested protocol to keep themselves and the public safe, with frequent hand-washing, regular use of sanitizers, and using gloves when needed.
      • Staff feeling unwell are required to stay at home.  
      • Credit card payment devices, POS terminals and scanning equipment used by staff and the public are sanitized regularly.  
      • Our current practice is to have guests display their personal devices for ticket scanning; our floor and door staff have been advised against handling guests’ phones.
      • We encourage our customers to spread out! Fortunately, as a mid-sized venue, there’s lots of room at the Rio! We seat over 420 people, so it’s very easy for guests to practice “social distancing” and leave empty seats between you.

      In an effort to protect yourself and your fellow movie-lovers, we kindly ask that anyone who is not feeling well to please STAY HOME – come back another time, when you’re feeling better!