Denmark is allowing the reopening of its cinemas on Sunday 16 January, having shuttered them 19 December for four weeks. Denmark was, together with The Netherlands, one the few countries to close cinemas completely in the face of rising Omicron variant cases. Cinemas were also closed in Belgium but a court order reversed the government decision, while cinemas had earlier been closed in Austria and Eastern Europe.
Under the new rules, Danish cinemas will be allowed to have audiences of up to 500 people, revised up from 350. Face coverings and COVID vaccination certificates will still be required. Denmark was one of the first European countries to see a significant wave of Omicron infections, which led to the closure of entertainment venues, but only some restrictions for hospitality venues. Food and beverage will be allowed in the re-opened cinemas.
This move leaves The Netherlands as the only major European territory where cinemas are still shuttered, though severe restrictions known as 2G+ (testing and proof-of-vaccination) are in place across many German states meaning cinemas are hamstrung even when open. Operators in Denmark, such as Nordisk, had to close its cinemas after the opening weekend of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Speaking on the CJ Cinema Summit Nordisk Film CEO Asger Flygare Bech-Thomsen revealed that audience numbers surged on the final days that movie theatres were open. Denmark was one of the best 2021 cinema markets on the strength of both domestic and Hollywood films, at least prior to the closures.