It was announced that the Maharashtra state government has announced cinemas and theatres would be allowed to reopen within the state on the 22nd of October. This caused lots of excitement for exhibitors, the film industry and trade. However, in the last several days, group members of the fraternity were becoming agitated since they realized that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) had not been published through the government. Theatre owners have stated that they’d attend to the SOPs and then decide whether or to go ahead with the opening.
The wait is over. On the 11th of October, the Maharashtra government of Maharashtra finally issued the SOPs. The SOPs stipulate that theatre patrons must be socially disengaged and wear face masks and wash their hands within the theatre.
People who have been fully vaccinated are required to show their Covid vaccine certificate. If one is not entirely or non-vaccinated, is allowed to enter the theatre, provided that they have the safe condition on their Aarogya Setu app.
A few malls permit only those who are fully vaccinated into the premises. However, those who have not completed their two doses may still be admitted to the shopping malls’ theatres, providing they present the ticket to the movie.
The cinema halls have been instructed to monitor viewers’ temperature and let only those who are suffering from a cold inside. They are asked to keep the theatre with a 50% capacity and to stagger shows so that the crowd doesn’t occur anywhere within the theatre.
The SOPs will encourage patrons to pay with contactless cards. The theatre’s management must clean the auditorium after each screening and also ensure regular and thorough disinfection. The employees are required to be vaccine-free and be vaccinated for 14 days following receiving their second dose.
People hoping to enjoy the movie in the theatre with cold drinks, popcorn etc . will be disappointed. Following the SOPs, drinks or food will not be allowed inside the auditorium for screenings.
The government circular clarifies that cinemas will open on the 22nd of October. A trade expert stated, “The SOPs were much sought-after. Finally, they’re on paper that cinemas are expected to start operating in the state starting 22nd. There’s no information yet as to whether night-time shows will be allowed. I think it will vary on the city and district by district. We would like to see the district officials and the corporations will clarify this issue immediately.”
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