UK emergency alert test: How Vue cinemas and sports events plan to limit disruption when alarm sounds

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It is the first nationwide trial of the UK emergency alert and is due to take place on April 23 at 3pm.

Cinemas and sport event organisers have detailed their plans for when the nationwide test of the UK emergency alert sounds this weekend. On Sunday April 23 at 3pm, an alert will sound on millions of mobile phones across the UK.

It is the first national trial of the network, which aims to warns people of nearby danger, such as flooding or terror attacks, and will see devices sound an alarm and vibrate for 10 seconds. The UK Prime Minister’s Twitter account, today tweeted: “Wherever you are, this Sunday at 3pm you’re getting the Emergency Alert. You will receive a message on the home screen of your mobile phone, along with a sound and vibration for up to ten seconds. You don’t need to take any action.”

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The advert shows prime minister Rishi Sunak, newly appointed deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden and energy secretary Grant Shapps getting an alert on their phones, before the shrill sounds plays at the end of the short video.

The test means some important sport and entertainment events have taken some special measures to limit any disruption. This includes play being suspended at the World Snooker Championships just before the alert is supposed to sound.

A spokesperson for the Vue cinema chain said: “Before every screening at Vue, we encourage our customers to turn their mobile phones off in order to fully immerse themselves in the big screen experience. Customers who are attending a screening on Sunday afternoon will be further made aware of the UK emergency alerts test through signage in our venues and announcements before the films being shown over that period.”

Theatres across the West End in London have also been advised to tell audiences to turn off their phones, by the Society of London Theatres . Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Frozen, Mamma Mia! and The Lion King are among the shows putting on matinees on Sunday.

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LW Theatres, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s group of seven West End theatres including the London Palladium, told Sky News it planned to make an announcement before shows but had no plans to change performance times.

The test on Sunday (April 23), coincides with the remainder of the London Marathon, St George’s Day and the 2pm Premier League kick-offs between Bournemouth and West Ham, and Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur.

How to turn off Emergency Alert system for Apple and Android phones

Steps for Android users:

  1. Go to the settings app of the Android device
  2. Search for ‘Emergency Alerts’ using the search bar at the top of the screen
  3. Click or tap on the first option that pops up
  4. Once in the device’s Emergency Alerts settings page, turn off Emergency Alerts by pressing all the toggle buttons (blue means on, grey means off)

Steps for Apple users:

  1. Go to the settings app of the Apple device
  2. Scroll down to find and click or tap on the ‘Notifications’ tab
  3. Scroll all the way down again to find a dedicated section for Emergency Alerts
  4. You will see ‘Extreme Alerts’ and ‘Severe Alerts’ buttons, but this sometimes varies depending on which iPhone or Apple device you are using.
  5. To turn them off, press all the toggle buttons (blue means on, grey means off)

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