The Maharashtra government has released SOPs for cinemas, theatre, indoor and outdoor programmes, which will be open to the public from October 22, amid the decline in Covid cases. The government has insisted on the strict implementation of all Covid-19 norms, to avoid crowding and virus infection.
As per the SOPs, the occupancy at cinemas, theatres and multiplexes cannot be more than 50 per cent of the total capacity and adequate social distancing must be ensured. The reopening of cinemas in containment zones is not allowed and all Covid-related safety measures must be adhered to inside the premises.
The general guidelines specify that respiratory etiquette must be followed, including the usage of masks, adequate social distancing of at least six feet to be followed outside auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
Spitting is prohibited and the usage of the Aarogya Setu app will be mandatory. Thermal screening of visitors will be carried out at entry and exit points in a staggered, row-wise manner, to avoid crowding.
Even those partially or non-vaccinated can enter the theatre, provided they show their ‘safe’ status on their Aarogya Setu app. The SOP promotes the use of contactless digital transactions for payments for tickets, food, and beverages.
A sufficient number of box-office counters shall be opened and the box office shall be open throughout the day and advance booking shall be allowed, to avoid crowding at the sale counters.
Stressing on the sanitisation of the entire premises, frequent sanitisation of the entire premises, common facilities and all points that come in human contact, including handles and railings shall be ensured and auditoriums shall be sanitised after every screening.
The SOPs have laid down specific measures for the creation of public awareness against Covid by displaying dos and don’ts throughout the premises by way of announcements, standees, posters.
Drama theatres too will have to operate at 50 per cent capacity. No guests can be allowed on the stage/green rooms to meet the artiste or other crew members before or after the show; make-up artists should wash their hands with soap, sanitiser before and after each session; daily fumigation of all sets and green rooms should be conducted and self-monitoring of health by all artists and the reporting any illness at the earliest shall be ensured.
As far as the SOP for indoor and open-air programmes are concerned, regular medical checks and thermal testing are mandatory. In addition, indoor auditoriums will have to be regularly sanitised, disinfected and cleaned while in case of outdoor programmes, marking should be done for seated and standing audience and the wearing of masks will be compulsory. The sale of eatables and drinks, paan and tobacco will be banned at the venue.
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