After seven months of shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cinema halls will reopen on October 15, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said last week. Cinema halls and multiplexes have been shut since March following the lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Union minister said that online booking of tickets for contact-less transactions would be encouraged, but the box office will open in single-screen theatres. .
According to the SoPs, only 50 per cent seating will be allowed of the total capacity and alternate seats will be left vacant for social distancing. Proper ventilation and air conditioner temperature in the range of 24 to 30 degrees Celsius will be maintained. It is compulsory to show a minute-long film or announcement before a show as well as before and after the interval to spread awareness among people about Covid-19. Additionally, regular cleaning and disinfection of the box office and other areas will be done.
Face masks will be mandatory inside the cinema halls. Moreover, only packed food will be allowed. Thermal screening will be carried out and only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed. Also, the installation and use of the Arogya Setu App shall be advised to all. As per the SOPs, the audience will be encouraged to avoid movement during intermission.
Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued new guidelines to re-open more activities in areas outside the containment zones. Activities permitted from October 15 are: Swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, entertainment parks and similar places, Business to Business exhibitions, an MHA order read.