On Sunday, August 30, the Tamil Nadu government announced the lockdown rules and regulations for the state for ‘Unlock 4’ as ‘Unlock 3’ comes to an end with today. As per ‘Unlock 4’, the government continues with the regular lockdown until September 30 but has permitted the opening up of several amenities, including metro rail service, parks and playgrounds, cancellation of Epass for intrastate travel, running of suburban trains from the middle of the month, extended working hours for shops and restaurants, functioning of offices and businesses with 100% capacity and the cancellation of the complete lockdown on Sundays.
Along with these, the state government also allowed the Kollywood film industry to resume shooting with a maximum crew of 75 members while adhering to a list of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have been released today. Apart from the SOPs, shooting at containment zones is strictly prohibited.
சினிமா படப்பிடிப்புகளுக்கான வழிகாட்டு நெறிமுறைகள் வெளியீடு! #TamilCinema #Shooting #coronalockdown #TNGovt pic.twitter.com/JaUEPkkmx4
— Jaya Plus (@jayapluschannel) August 31, 2020
The SOPs include,
- Six-feet social distancing at all shoot locations, studios, and rooms by entire cast and crew.
- Scenes, sequences, camera locations, positions of crew members, seating, food and catering arrangements to be planned in accordance with social distancing norms.
- A minimum cast and crew during the shoot as much as possible.
- Prohibition of visitors/audiences on set.
- Compulsory coordination with local authorities for crowd-management during outdoor shoots.
- Stay-over facilities to prevent the spread of infection.
- Staggered call sheet timings for different crew units that work at studios with multiple sets.
- Inbuilt cafeteria facilities to also follow social distancing norms at all times.
- Designated entry and exit points at shoot locations.
- Regular sanitisation of sets, makeup rooms, vanity vans, and other facilities with clinically approved disinfectants.
- Sensitive equipment to be sanitised before and after shoot taking into consideration the nature of the equipment and technical feasibility.
- Adequate stock of gloves, boots, masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, etc.
- Housekeeping staff to be trained about waste management and disposal.
- Practice of Work From Home to be followed whenever possible.
- Communication and training on COVID19 precaution to be conducted with cast, crew and other staff.
- Dos and Donts to be communicated to the team by placing information boards, posters, and infographics at prominent points.
- Face covers and masks for all except for the talent in front of the camera.
- Sharing of costumes, wigs, makeup items, and others to be kept at a minimum.
- Compulsory PPE kits for makeup artists and hairstylists.
- Persons handling shared equipment to wear gloves compulsorily.
- Direct contact with the diaphragm of mics to be avoided and Lapel mics to be done without or never shared.
- Minimise usage of props and use only after sanitisation.
- All production units to comply with all guidelines laid down by the Union/State Government from time to time.
- Supervisor to monitor the whole cast and crew and make sure all have installed the Aarogya Setu App (developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people of India), identify hospitals and quarantine centres close to the workplace, and support health authorities in case of health contingencies.
- COVID19 stigmatization or unruly behaviour shall be dealt with strictly.
- Strict adherence to travel guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Railways, and state governments.
- Suitable provisions for temporary isolation of COVID19 suspects can be made.
- Air circulation system must allow fresh air/treated fresh air with a fresh air level of more than 50%.
The list also included general guidelines for malls and other places that are opening up. Earlier, the central government had released a similar list of guidelines for the country.
Read: Central Government Permits Film Shooting And Announces ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ For The Same In India
The opening of indoor theatres has not been allowed by both the central government and the Tamil Nadu government. However, open-air-theatres have been given the green signal to operate as usual.
In response to this, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has requested the Indian government to reconsider their decision and support them too. They questioned the government as to why they weren’t given a chance when fields like aviation, transport, recreation, wellness, and food got the chance. They also used the hashtag ‘#SupportMovieTheatres’ along with their pleas.
Several Indian celebrities and Twitter users also requested the same while additionally using the hashtag ‘#SaveCinema’.
If Aviation, Metro, Malls, Wellness and Restaurants can be allowed to operate, the Cinema Industry too deserves a chance. #SupportMovieTheatres
— Multiplex Association Of India (@MAofIndia) August 30, 2020
Now that almost ‘Everything’ is allowed to open… It’s high time to consider opening theatres too with all the safety precautions….. Too many peoples livelihood is involved in it… PLS DO CONSIDER UNLOCKING US TOO… 🙏#SupportMovieTheatres #SupportCinemas #Unlock4 pic.twitter.com/bwVfksRTbY
— karthik subbaraj (@karthiksubbaraj) August 30, 2020
#SupportMovieTheatres #supportcinema we all have so many memories and celebrations in theatres ! Let’s pray this pandemic situation #COVID19 ends soon & we should get back to the theatres with our friends /families soon 🤩❤️ pic.twitter.com/d5rcSn4Cuh
— Athulyaa Ravi (@AthulyaOfficial) August 30, 2020
Due to zero revenues, we have already lost 12-15٪ of our screen count, be it single screens or independent mpxs. Imagine they may never lit up their screens again… timely & safely critical steps is the need of the hour ! #SupportMovieTheatres
— Girish Johar (@girishjohar) August 30, 2020
#SupportMovieTheatres #SaveCinemas pic.twitter.com/O0loQxKBbR
— Boney Kapoor (@BoneyKapoor) August 30, 2020
It’s time we reopened our cinemas with SOPs in place! #SupportMovieTheatres pic.twitter.com/4pQZ32FgS5
— Shobu Yarlagadda (@Shobu_) August 30, 2020