Cinema halls across India have been permitted to operate at 100% seating capacity.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday allowed cinema halls to operate at 100% seating capacity from February 1 onwards. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting also issued a new set of SOPs for cinema halls and theatres.
Some of the general guidelines include:
1. Adequate physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
2. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory at all times.
3. Availability of hand sanitizers, preferably in the touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as common areas within the premises.
4. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
5. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
6. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
7. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.
The I&B order also stated that seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes is to be allowed upto 100% seating capacity.
The news was met with a lot of positivity by film distributors and theatre owners.
Film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi took to Twitter and wrote, “100% capacity permitted in cinema halls from 1st February! Hope this can open the floodgates for films to announce their release dates & bring audiences back to cinemas in massive numbers! #CinemasAreBack.”
Film exhibitor Vishek Chauhan tweeted, “100% Capacity allowed in Cinemas…Great news!!! Big films can now plan releases without constraints..#CinemasAreBack @MIB_India Thank you!”
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