After seven months of shut down due to COVID-19, cinema halls will reopen on October 15 with 50 per cent capability and one-seat distance between the viewers, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar mentioned Tuesday.
“Cinema halls are shut for last seven months. They are now opening from October 15. For safety of people, we have come out with SOP to be followed,” Javadekar mentioned.
“Cinema halls shall be allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity only and people will maintain one-seat distance. Alternate seats will be left vacant for social distancing. Wearing masks at all times inside the hall will be important,” he added.
Briefing the press at his residence, the Union minister additionally mentioned that on-line reserving of tickets will likely be inspired however field workplace will likely be open for single-screen theatres.
“In single-screen theatres, ticket counters will be opened. However, 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 degree Celsius,” he mentioned.
The minister, releasing the SOP, mentioned adequate time interval between successive screenings on a single display in addition to on numerous screens in a multiplex needs to be offered to guarantee row-wise staggered entry and exit of the viewers.
“The show commencement time, intermission period and finish time of a show at any screen shall not overlap with the commencement time, intermission period or finish time of a show at any other screen in a multiplex,” the ministry mentioned in its SOP.
The SOP doc mentioned solely packaged meals and drinks will likely be allowed and on-line funds will likely be inspired at meals and beverage counters. Delivery of meals contained in the cinema halls will likely be prohibited.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had in its unlock tips issued on September 30 allowed reopening of cinema halls from October 15.
According to the SOP, seats to be left vacant will likely be marked “not to be occupied” and bodily distancing of not less than six ft may have to be adopted outdoors the auditoriums. The SOP suggested use of Aarogya Setu cellular software.
“Given the current COVID-19 outbreak in India, it is important that various stakeholders involved in the activities of exhibition of films take suitable measures to restrict transmission of the virus while conducting their operations and activities,” it mentioned.
It mentioned thermal screening of tourists and workers may have to be carried out at entry factors and solely asymptomatic people needs to be allowed to enter the premises.
“Provisions for hand sanitization should be made available at all entry points and in work areas. Designated queue markers shall be made available for entry and exit of the audience from the auditorium and the premises,” it mentioned.
“Efforts shall be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission. Audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner,” it mentioned.
The auditoriums will likely be sanitised after each screening and cross air flow has to be ensured. PTI