Planning to go to theaters after Oct 15? Ensure that you know these guidelines!

As the Central government has permitted the resumption of the theaters and cinema halls from October 15 as part of the fifth phase of the unlocking process to have a gradual exit from the lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs had, on Tuesday, rolled out the fresh guidelines and standard operating procedures that have been mandated to follow in the theaters after its resumption. 

As per the fresh guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the theaters have been permitted to re-open and function with 50% of seating capacity from October 15, and people coming to the theaters must wear face masks while watching the movies and the alternate seats will be left vacant and would be marked to restrict the seating to maintain physical distancing. 

According to the SOPs, the government has instructed the audience to avoid movement during the intermission and directed the theaters to telecast the movies in a staggered time table for different screens. The theaters are mandated to screen the audience at the entrances and allow only asymptomatic people into the cinema halls. By strictly prohibiting the spitting on the premises, the government has encouraged to use the Arogya Setu App. 

The Central government has asked the theaters to make minute-long films or announcements on wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. The theaters had also been asked to make awareness videos on hand hygiene before and after the show and interval to spread awareness among people about COVID-19. 

Though the Center has brought relief to the theater owners by resuming the theaters and cinema halls, the government has restricted the functioning of foodcourts. According to the guidelines,  only packaged food and beverages shall be allowed at the food counters, and no delivery food will be allowed inside the movie hall. The theaters are asked to install multiple sales counters for food and beverage to ensure physical distancing. 

The guidelines had mandated the theaters to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of sanitation staff and they must be provided with adequate mechanisms like gloves, boots, and masks. The government has directed the theaters to install hand sanitizers across the premises and it should also carry out the disinfectant drive at regular intervals. 

The theaters should ensure to clean their premises and must encourage the audiences to purchase and pay tickets through digital modes of payments and the theaters should mark the signages on its premises to ensure that people stand on the marks to observe social distancing norms.