Watching movies in theatre, celebrating festivals in the times of Covid-19 Pandemic! Read dos and don’ts

By: |
New Delhi | Updated: Oct 07, 2020 11:51 AM

Guidelines for festivals, reopening of cinema halls during Coronavirus Pandemic: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home

Proper ventilation in the hall is mandated to avoid the spread of the infection.The company has incurred capital expenditure as well in procuring certain equipment and other products, including sanitisation machines all over the cinema chain.

Coronavirus update: The central government has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for festivals that will be observed from October to December. A separate set of SOPs has also been released for the reopening of cinema halls across the country from October 15.

Coronavirus COVID-19 SOPs, guidelines for festivals

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in its “SOPs on preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 during festivities” stated that no festivity events — religious worship, fairs, rallies, exhibitions, cultural functions, processions will be allowed in Containment Zones.
  • Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home. This applies to the event managers and staff as well.
  • Organizers need to identify spatial boundaries and prepare a detailed site plan which would facilitate compliance with thermal screening, physical distancing, sanitization, the SOPs stated.
  • According to the SOPs, in the case of events that run for days or weeks, it has to be ensured crowds are regulated.
  • In the case of rallies and immersion processions, the number of people should not exceed the prescribed limit and proper physical distancing and wearing of masks must be ensured.
  • The distance covered by these rallies may be kept within manageable limits. Events such as rallies and processions spread over long distances may require the support of ambulance services.

Guidelines, SOPs for reopening of cinema halls

  • The central government in its Unlock 5 guidelines had stated that after October 15, 2020, a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons outside Containment Zones.
  • The occupancy of the auditorium should not be more than 50 per cent. Seats “not to be occupied” must be marked, the SOPs released by the Centre on October 7 stated.
  • Cinema halls must have provisions for hand wash and sanitizers.
  • Thermal screening must be carried out and only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to enter. Viewers are encouraged to install and use of Arogya Setu App.
  • There should be staggered show timings for different screens.
  • Digital modes of payment must be encouraged.
  • Regular cleaning and disinfection of box office and other areas should be carried out. There should be a sufficient number of counters at the box office.
  • Audiences are encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission.
  • Floor markers must be used for physical distancing for queue management at the box office.
  • The purchase of tickets at the box office should remain open throughout the day, advance booking must be allowed to avoid crowding.
  • Spitting should be strictly prohibited. Respiratory etiquette must be strictly followed.
  • Only packaged food and beverages are allowed and there should be no delivery of food inside the hall.
  • There should be multiple sale counters for food and beverage.
  • There should be measures for the safety of sanitization staff such as adequate provisions for gloves, boots, masks, PPE, etc.
  • Contact numbers must be taken to facilitate contact tracing.
  • Covid-19 related stigmatization or unruly behaviour must be dealt with strictly.
  • The temperature of all air conditioning must be kept in the range of 24 degrees to 30 degrees celsius.
  • Public service announcements on wearing masks, physical distancing, and hand hygiene must be made before and after screening and during intermission.

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