Cinema Halls to reopen from 15th October: Guidelines released

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Cinema Halls are allowed to reopen from 15th October. Fifty percent occupancy, staggered show timings, social distancing, thermal screening, adequate protection gear for the staff, and compulsorily providing phone numbers for “contact tracing” are among the guidelines issued for reopening cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes. These establishments, which have remained closed since March because of the corona virus outbreak, were recently allowed to resume operations as per the guidelines issued under Unlock 5.0.

Using the hashtag UnlockWithPrecautions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted a set of rules all cinema halls will have to follow to safely continue operating amid the pandemic.

Mr. Javadekar said “Cinema halls shall be allowed to open with 50 percent capacity only and people will maintain one-seat distance. Alternate seats will be left vacant for social distancing. Wearing masks at all the times inside the hall will be important.”

Cinema Halls to reopen from 15th October: Guidelines released
The Financial Express

Rules issued by the Centre states that “COVID-19 related stigmatization or unruly behaviour will be dealt with strictly.”

A recap of COVID-safely norms and punishments, in case they are not observed, would become a part of the customary pre-and-post shows advertisements. Floor and seat markers for social distancing, thermal scanning, and “respiratory etiquettes” are among the things patrons will have to bear in mind after they are allowed entry on being cleared as “asymptomatic”.

Hand washing and sanitization provision will also be made, besides mandatory use of Aarogya Setu and providing cellphones numbers for contact tracing.  However, the rules emphasise the need for “self-monitoring” health.

The majority of corona virus patients remains asymptomatic for a long time and run the risk of exposing others to the highly infectious virus during this time.

Recent findings about “corona virus remaining airborne for several hours” have also raised questions about the effectiveness of the 6-foot-distance rule in closed spaces, with emphasis now squarely on practicing collectively responsible behaviour.

To reduce contact, the Centre’s guidelines promote the use of digital payment systems in, increasing the number of counters at the Box Office for single-screen theatres and frequent and frequent sanitization of the area.

The I&B Minister told the press at his residence that “We encourage online booking for contact-less transactions. Proper ventilation has to be ensured and temperature setting of all air conditioning should be above 23 degrees Celsius.”

Mr. Javadekar added that sufficient time should be provided to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit of the audience. The ministry said, “The show commencement time, intermission period and end of a show at any screen shall not overlap with the start, intermission or end of a show at any other screen in a multiplex.”

Though the rules do not restrict visits to the cafeteria or toilets, they encourage patrons to “avoid movements during the intermission” and that all snacks sold should be “packed”.

 

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