Children on March break will be able to go to the movies, but they won’t be able to enjoy a bag of popcorn. The government says sitting in a theatre with a mask on poses minimum risk while allowing spectators to take those masks off to consume food and drink is much riskier.
“We’ve now decided that we will not open the 26th because our business will not be viable,” said Vincent Guzzo, president of Cinemas Guzzo.
On Tuesday, the province announced a modest relaxing of some sanitary measures, the premier said, in order to help parents keep their kids entertained during March break.
“We have many children, I think it’s a million, that will be on vacation for one week on March. We have to limit the number of openings and we choose the one that is helping families,” Premier François Legault explained.
Guzzo said opening his theatres would already have been difficult given the curfew: “how do you open at night and you have to be closed by eight?”
But without the revenue from food and drink sales, Guzzo said it isn’t profitable. He didn’t play down the fact he wants Legault to change his mind.
“I guess the premier still has enough time to go clean up his act and get it all squared out,” he said.
Opposition parties are once again lambasting the government for what they say is incoherence in its announcements.
“The scientific data as to why popcorn is a threat, we’ll never know because we have a public health that never publishes data,” said Parti Quebecois leader, Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon.
“Should popcorn be allowed or not is a discussion that needs to happen between government, public health and the movie theaters association, but that discussion should have happened before the government put it out in public,” said Liberal MNA, André Fortin.
Two government spokespeople said Quebec will not back track on this decision, as it is following the recommendations of Public Health.