The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has allowed 100 per cent occupancy in multiplexes and cinema halls from February 1 on Sunday. In this regard, the I&B Ministry has issued a set of guidelines for cinema halls and theatres to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The SOPs (Standard Operating Protocol) said that no film screening shall be held in containment zones. As per the guidelines, all staff and visitors will have to maintain adequate physical distancing and use face masks at all times. They need to install Aarogya Setu app on their mobile devices and get mandatory temperature checks. Other measures include staggered show timings and bookings, separation of seats in the theatre and sanitisation after every show.
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar also shared the news on his Twitter account and wrote, “Good news for Cinema lovers: Today, Issued the revised SOP for the film exhibition, 100% occupancy will be allowed in theatres from 1st February, but all @MoHFW_INDIA #COVID19 guidelines will have to be followed.”
Good news for Cinema lovers:— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) January 31, 2021
Today, Issued the revised SOP for the film exhibition, 100% occupancy will be allowed in theatres from 1st February, but all @MoHFW_INDIA #COVID19 guidelines will have to be followed.https://t.co/5vfZtAoHXW@MIB_India pic.twitter.com/89qZpSiMhq
Some of the key details of the SOPs are as follows:
The physical distancing of six feet will be mandatory outside auditoriums, common areas, and waiting areas. Spitting will be prohibited on the premises. People would be thermally screened upon entrance and their exit should be done in a staggered row-wise manner to avoid crowding. Show timings shall also be staggered across multiple screens to avoid crowding.
Contactless digital transactions for tickets, food and beverages has been promoted in the guidelines. Advance booking should be allowed to avoid crowding at counters and a sufficient number of box office counters shall be opened for the purchase of tickets, that shall be open throughout the day.
Frequent sanitization of entire premises should be done and measures should also be taken for public awareness against COVID-19.
The audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission and longer intermissions may be used to allow movement of the audience in a staggered manner.
The temperature of air conditioning and humidity should be in the range 24-30°C and 40-70% respectively. Cross ventilation should be adequate.