Cinema halls to open with 50% seating capacity, SOP for film exhibition releasesed
GN Bureau | October 6, 2020
Film buffs turned to small screens when the lockdown, enforced by Covid-19, began in March. After a gap of more than six months, they can now look forward to watching films on big screen, as the government allowed theatres to reopen and on Tuesday released guidelines for film exhibition.
Releasing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for film exhibition, minister for information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that as per decision of the home ministry, cinema halls will reopen from October 15 and to that end Ministry of I&B has prepared the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The SOP on preventive measures has been prepared in consultation with the health ministry.
The highlights of the guiding principles include the general principles which have been given by the health ministry including thermal screening of all visitors/ staffs, adequate physical distancing, use of face covers/ masks, frequent hand washing, provision of hand sanitizers etc. and respiratory etiquettes specifically with regard to the exhibition of films.
The IB Ministry has formulated the general SOPs taking into consideration international practices notified in the sector including physical distancing, entry and exit with designated queue markers, sanitization, safety of staff, contact minimization. The seating arrangements shall be restricted to 50 percent of the seating capacity. Multiplex show timings shall be staggered, so as to not have overlap of show timings. Temperature setting shall be in the range of 24°-30°c, an official release said.
The guiding principle and SOP may be used by all States and other stake holders and State Governments while resuming Exhibition of Films.
Film exhibition is a major economic activity that has contributed immensely to the GDP of our country, the release noted. Given the Covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial that various stakeholders take suitable measures to restrict the transmission of the infection, while at the same time resuming/conduction their operations and activities, the release noted.
The home ministry order of September 30 has, among other things, issued guidelines for reopening of cinemas/ theatres/multiplex with up to 50% of their seating capacity, in areas outside the containment zones from October 15.
The detailed SOPs can be found at the IB ministry website: https://mib.gov.in/sites/default/files/SOP%20for%20exhibition%20of%20films.pdf
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