New Delhi: After seven months of shut down due to COVID-19, cinema halls will reopen on October 15 with 50 per cent capacity and one-seat distance between the viewers, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said Tuesday.
"Cinema halls are shut for last seven months. They are now opening from October 15. For safety of people, we have come out with SOP to be followed," Javadekar said.
"Cinema halls shall be allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity only and people will maintain one-seat distance. Alternate seats will be left vacant for social distancing. Wearing masks at all times inside the hall will be important," he added.
Briefing the press at his residence, the Union minister also said that online booking of tickets will be encouraged but box office will be open for single-screen theatres.
"In single-screen theatres, ticket counters will be opened. However, we encourage online booking for contact-less transactions. Proper ventilation has to be ensured and temperature setting of all air conditioning should be above 23 degree Celsius," he said.
The minister, releasing the SOP, said sufficient time interval between successive screenings on a single screen as well as on various screens in a multiplex should be provided to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit of the audience.
Entry & Exit Points
> Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points. Only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.
> Provisions for hand sanitization should be made available at all entry points and in work areas.
> Designated queue markers shall be made available for entry and exit of the audience from the auditorium and the premises.
> The Exit should be done in a staggered row-wise manner to avoid crowding.
> Sufficient time interval between successive screenings on a single screen as well as on various screens in a multiplex shall be provided to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit of the audience.
> The occupancy of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes shall not be more than 50% of their total seating capacity.
> Seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes to be made in such a way that adequate physical distancing is maintained.
> Seats that are 'not to be occupied' shall be marked as such during booking (for both online booking and at the box office sale of tickets). The 'not to be occupied' seats inside cinemas/theatres/multiplexes should either be taped or marked with fluorescent markers to prevent people from occupying these seats so as to ensure adequate physical distancing at all times.
Physical Distancing Norms
> Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises - duly following physical distancing norms shall be ensured.
> Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms.
> Efforts shall be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission. Audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner.
Staggered Show Timings at Multiplexes
> Staggered show timings shall be followed for multiple screens to avoid crowding.
> The show commencement time, intermission period and finish time of a show at any screen shall not overlap with the commencement time, intermission period or finish time of a show at any other screen in a multiplex.
Food and Beverage Area
> Show timings in the cinema halls to be staggered to ensure that intervals of different shows do not occur simultaneously.
> Customers shall be encouraged to use cinema apps/QR codes, etc. for ordering food as much as possible.
> Multiple sale counters in food and beverage area be made available wherever possible.
> One line systems to be followed using floor stickers to maintain physical distancing at every sale counter.
> Only packaged food and beverages shall be allowed.
> Delivery of food and beverage inside the hall/auditorium shall be prohibited.
> Management shall ensure observance of physical distancing and preventing crowds in the food and beverages area.
> Safe disposal of the food and beverage waste shall be ensured by the management of the premises.