Mumbai: The Centre, on Sunday, released the SOP for film screening at theatres so that these could operate at 100 per cent capacity. The SOP states that no exhibition of films shall be allowed in containment zones and that States/UTs may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.
Sufficient time intervals 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. Staggered show timings shall be followed for multiple screens, to avoid crowding.
The SOP clarifies that all COVID related safety measures must be adhered to inside the premises. The general guidelines specify that respiratory etiquette must be followed, including usage of face masks, adequate social distancing of at least six feet to be followed outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times. Spitting will be prohibited and usage of Aarogya Setu app will be encouraged. Thermal screening of visitors will be carried out at entry and exit points in a staggered, row-wise manner, to avoid crowding.
Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar in a tweet said, ‘‘Good news for Cinema lovers. Today, issued the revised SOP for the film exhibition, 100% occupancy will be allowed in theatres from February 1, but all @MoHFW_India #COVID 19 guidelines will have to be followed.’’ He said sanitisation and COVID protocols will have to be adhered to but people could buy food from the stalls inside the theatres. He added that the restrictions put in place due to Covid were on the verge of ending.
The SOP promotes use of contactless digital transactions for payments for tickets, food, and beverages etc. 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 which come in human contact, including handles, railings shall be ensured and auditoriums shall be sanitised after every screening.
The SOP has 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.