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Cinema halls to open at full capacity; longer intermission, staggered show timings part of SOP

BusinessToday.In     January 31, 2021

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed cinema halls to operate at full capacity. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a new set of standard operating procedures for cinema halls and theatres including mandatory use of face masks, availability of sanitisers, prohibition on spitting and more.

The new guidelines state that show timings for multiple screens will be staggered. No two show timings will have the same commencement time, intermission and finish time.

Moreover, the government said that the management would make efforts to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during intermission. "Audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner," stated the guidelines.

When it comes to booking and verification of tickets, and payments for tickets, food and beverages, transactions will be in no-contact mode. Online bookings, use of e-wallets and QR codes will be preferred. The customer's contact number will be taken at the time of book in order to facilitate contact tracing. Purchase of tickets at box office will be allowed throughout the day and advance booking will be allowed to avoid crowding. Multiple counters would remain open to ensure physical distancing. Floor markers will also be added for queue management.

The SOP states that thermal screening of visitors and staff will be carried out at entry points. Only asymptomatic customers would be allowed. Queue markers would be ensured at all entry and exit. Exit will be done in a staggered row-wise manner. "Sufficient time interval between successive screenings on a single screen as well as on various screens in a multiplex shall be provided to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit of the audience," stated the guidelines.

Besides that, here are the general guidelines issued by the Centre:

  • Physical distancing of at least 6 ft to be followed outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
  • Use of face masks and covers mandatory at all times.
  • Hand sanitisers must be made available, preferably in touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as at common areas.
  • Respiratory etiquettes, including covering one's mouth and nose with tissue, handkerchief or flexed elbow while coughing or sneezing.
  • Self monitoring of health and reporting illness at the earliest.
  • Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
  • Aarogya Setu advised for installation.

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