Staggered show timings, 50% occupancy, frequent sanitisation of premises, physical distancing, compulsory protective gear and thermal screening- these are a few of the guidelines that the Centre issued on Tuesday as part of the new standard operating procedure for reopening cinema halls.
After seven months of shutdown due to Covid-19, cinema halls are set to reopen from October 15 as per the Unlock 5 guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Only the theatres which fall outside of containment zones will be allowed to operate.
In a press briefing, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “Cinema halls shall be allowed to open with 50% capacity only and people will maintain one-seat distance. Wearing masks at all times will be important.”
“In single-screen theatres, ticket counters will be opened. However, we encourage online booking for a contact-less transaction. Proper ventilation has to be ensured and temperature setting of all air conditioning should be above 23 degrees Celsius,” he added.
He mentioned that it will be compulsory to make public service announcements on wearing masks, social distancing, and general Covid-19 avoiding measures before, after and during the intermission.
The guidelines also mention adequate measures such as PPE kits, masks, gloves, boots etc., should be in place for safety of sanitisation workers. Any Covid-19 related stigmatisation or unruly behavior shall be strictly dealt with. Other general rules include prohibition of spitting, sale of only packaged foods and beverages, usage of floor markers to maintain social distancing, facilitating contact tracing and only asymptomatic individuals to be allowed to enter after thermal screening.
While downloading the Aarogya Setu app isn’t compulsory, it is advised for movie-goers to do the same. It is also advised that every individual should do self-monitoring of their health and report any illness.
Film industries across India have reportedly suffered losses worth Rs 3,000 crore. With the absence of big screens, several films were released across OTT platforms.