Cinema halls reopen in many states today amid safety protocols

New Delhi (NVI): Cinema halls in several parts of the country are reopening today after being shutdown for seven months during the pandemic, amid strict adherence to the Centre’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Theatres and multiplexes, closed since March because of the coronavirus crisis, recently allowed to resume operations as per the guidelines issued under Unlock 5.

All cinema halls that will open today have to observe 50 per cent occupancy, maintain staggered show timings and follow social distancing protocols to prevent moviegoers.

At the food and beverages section, all food will be sterilised under UV rays in a machine for eight minutes before being handed over to the customer. Popocorn containers will completely be covered with paper lids.

Furthermore, thermal screening, adequate protection gear for the staff, and compulsorily providing phone numbers for “contact tracing” are some of the changes movie-goers will see.

Inside the hall, there will be floor and seat markers to help individuals adhere to social distancing norms.

Individuals going to the theatres are also expected to keep their masks on and always cover their faces while coughing. Another round of thermal screening will be conducted before patrons can enter the hall.

Other SOPs mandated by the central government like proper ventilation and air conditioner temperature above 23 degrees Celsius will also have to be maintained.

Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are some of the states where cinema halls have been allowed to open.

However, theatres will remain closed in states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Chhattisgarh.