The government on Tuesday announced the Standard Operating Procedure for the resumption of cinema halls from October 15 across the country. Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted the list of precautionary measures including, alternate seating, mandatory use of masks and sanitisers and encouraged use of digital mode of ticket payment, to be applied by theatre owners to ensure the safety of viewers that includes
The government has also made use and installation of Aarogya Setu app advisable, while discouraging audience to move during intermission. Also included in the guidelines is regular cleaning and disinfection of the box office, and other areas of theatres and sufficient opening of counters of the box office. Floor markers should be used for physical distancing for queue management and only packaged food and beverages shall be allowed and delivery inside the halls will be prohibited, read the SOP.
Thermal screening should be carried out allowing only asymptomatic individuals inside the hall, while contact number of audience members shall be taken for contact tracing. The government further said that any kind of COVID-19 stigmatisation will be dealt with strictly.
If any person is found coronavirus positive, the hall premises will need to be disinfected, while PSA’s (public service announcements) on wearing masks and physical distancing should be made before and after the film’s screening and during intermission.
The government last week announced the re-opening of cinema halls at 50 per cent occupancy in a huge relief to exhibitors, theatre owners and the Hindi film fraternity, who had been rallied for the resumption of cinemas for weeks citing that the six month lockdown had wrecked havoc with the business, causing severe loss of livelihood.