Nearly 5,000 layoffs at Cineplex after Ontario closes movie theatres

·1 min read

TORONTO — Cineplex Inc. says it has temporarily laid off nearly 5,000 part-time employees because of mandated closures of its Ontario movie theatres to tackle the surge of the Omicron variant.

Spokeswoman Sarah Van Lange says Canada's largest movie chain will get its employees back to work "once and for all" as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

New COVID-19 public health measures announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday resulted in the closure of 67 Cineplex theatres along with indoor concert venues, museums, galleries and other attractions.

The provincial restrictions also require restaurants and bars to halt indoor dining and cease selling alcohol after 10 p.m.

The policies meant to curtail the province's soaring COVID-19 cases are expected to remain in place until at least Jan. 26.

The Toronto-based company said it would offer full refunds to customers who had booked tickets in advance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2022.

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The Canadian Press

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