AMC, Regal, Cinemark drop mask requirement for fully vaccinated guests

Coronavirus

This May 8, 2020 photo shows an AMC Theatre is shown in Clinton Township, Mich. AMC Theatres says it will have 98% of its U.S. movie theaters open on Friday, March 19, 2021, with more expected to open by March 26. Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. are up more than 4% before the market open on Thursday. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to wear masks while going to the movies at AMC, Regal, and Cinemark.

In light of new masking guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the three theater chains say they will no longer require masks for fully vaccinated customers. Guests are still encouraged to practice social distancing and follow other COVID-19 safety measures.

“Consistent with the latest CDC guidance and following consultation with public health experts, AMC Theatres guests who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings at AMC locations, unless it is mandated by state or local ordinances,” an AMC representative said in a statement to Variety. “Guests who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing masks. All other aspects of the AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures, including seat blocking, remain in place at this time.”

Regal’s website states that “vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance, the movie theatre industry will continue to meet or exceed state and local public health guidelines,” adding that “masks will not be required unless mandated by state and local guidelines. Where masks are mandated, they can be removed only while eating and drinking while seated in an auditorium. Employees monitor auditoriums throughout each performance as a standard practice.”

“Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests. Masks are strongly encouraged for all other guests, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Masks may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium,” Cinemark’s website says, “All employees are provided with proper face masks to wear and are required to wash their hands frequently.”

So far, around 50.1% of Americans have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 40.2% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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