India Allows Full Occupancy In Cinema Halls From Feb 1, Releases New SOPs

Government had allowed cinema halls to operate at a higher capacity. In October 2020, the Centre had allowed cinema halls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced on Saturday that it will allow 100 per cent of cinema attendance as of 1 February. In October 2020, cinemas started reopening with a 50% occupancy rate.

A statement from the Ministry reads, “The seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes is to allow up to 100 per cent seating space.”

Cinema halls allow full occupancy: Guidelines

However, the screening of films will not be permitted in places designated as COVID-19 containment zones.

The Ministry has also published a list of standard operating procedures to avoid the spread of COVID-19, which visitors and film staff are expected to comply with at all times.

In cinemas, physical distances of at least six feet outside auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas are required at all times, and the use of face covers/masks is mandatory. Spitting is strictly prohibited and the use of the ‘Arogya Setu,’ a government track and trace app, is recommended.

Thermal screening of visitors and workers will be conducted at points of entry, allowing only asymptomatic individuals to enter. Designated queue markers must be made accessible from the auditorium and grounds for the entrance and exit of the audience, and the exits must be staggered in a row-wise manner in order to prevent crowding. Timings for shows will be staggered.

It is important to ensure regular sanitization of the entire premises, common equipment, and all points of human interaction, such as handles, railings, and to sanitize the cinemas after every screening.

It is important to keep the temperature in the cinemas between 24-30 ° C, and the relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%. To the extent practicable, air recirculation should be avoided, with allowance to be made for cross-ventilation and fresh air intake.

For tickets and concessions, online or cell phone bookings are encouraged. Hand sanitisers are, in general, necessary to be made available everywhere.

Vaccinations Cross Three Million

According to the country’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India’s total active coronavirus caseload has fallen to 1,69,824 as of Jan. 30, and vaccination continues apace. “India is the fastest country in COVID-19 vaccination to reach not only the one million target but also the two million and three million mark,” a ministry statement said on Saturday. “Many other countries that have had a head start, some as long as 40-50 days, have taken longer to achieve these goals.”

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