100% Occupancy in Cinema Halls From 1 Feb – What Are the New SOPs?

Who will be allowed in cinema halls? Can you buy tickets at the counter? Here’s all you need to know.

Updated
COVID-19
2 min read
The order says that cinema halls and theatres, which have already been permitted to be opened with upto 50 percent of seating capacity, will now be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity.
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In a fresh order issued on 31 January, the central government said cinema halls and movie theatres across India will be allowed to operate with 100 percent capacity from Monday, 1 February, onwards as part of the phased ease of restrictions of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released detailed SOPs over increasing capacity of occupancy in cinema halls. Here’s what it says.

Who will be allowed to visit cinema halls?

  • Asymptomatic people who are wearing masks.
  • Those above 60 years of age are advised to avoid crowded places.

What are the general instructions given by the ministry?

  • Adequate physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be maintained outside auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
  • Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory at all times.
  • Availability of hand sanitisers, preferably in the touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as in common areas within the premises.
  • Respiratory etiquette 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.

Will there be staggering of show timings?

  • Staggered show timings shall be followed for multiple-screen theatres to avoid crowding.
  • The show commencement time, intermission period and finish time of a show at any screen hall should not overlap with that of another show at any other screen inside a multiplex.

Can I purchase tickets at the counter?

  • Digital no-contact transactions should be the most preferred mode for issue/verification/payments for tickets, food, and beverages, etc., by using online bookings, use of e-wallets, QR code scanners, etc.
  • Contact number shall be taken at the time of booking of tickets to facilitate contact tracing
  • The purchase of tickets at the box office shall be open throughout the day and advance booking shall be allowed to avoid crowding at sale counters

Will movie halls in containment zones reopen too?

No, no film shall be allowed to screen in containment zones, and states and Union Territories may consider “proposing additional measures” as per their assessment.

What else has been allowed to reopen from 1 February?

The government’s new guidelines state swimming pools, which have already been permitted for use of sportspersons, will now be permitted for use of all.

The order on Wednesday also allows for all types of exhibition halls to open, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce in consultation with the MHA.

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