Welsh Government orders closure of Swansea cinema amid Covid pass dispute

The Welsh Government says the cinema has breached coronavirus regulations.

The Welsh Government has issued a direction for the closure of an independent cinema in Swansea on public health grounds amid a dispute over Covid passes.

The owner of Cinema & Co, Anna Redfern, recently announced she would not implement the Welsh Government's Covid pass scheme after it was extended to cinemas and theatres in Wales.

She described the passes as "the final nail in the coffin" for the sector and argued the new rules were "unfair" and "killing the entertainment industry".

The Welsh Government insists the passes can play a key role in keeping people safe - but Cinema & Co vowed to "take a stand", claiming the measures are "discriminatory and unlawful".

Anna Redfern, owner of Cinema & Co in Swansea, made the decision not to follow the Covid pass scheme.

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, Welsh Minsters have powers to take action against specific premises where they consider the premises to present a risk to public health.

Ministers have now issued a direction for the cinema to close, saying the local authority "identified a series of breaches of the Coronavirus regulations" at the premises.

The premises was previously served with a notice requiring it to close due to the risk to public health, it added.

A Welsh Government statement said: "As the owner has chosen not to comply with this legal requirement, Welsh Ministers have taken further enforcement action.

"The Welsh Government will not be commenting further on ongoing legal proceedings."