New Delhi: The Central government has allowed states and UTs to reopen cinema halls across the country from October 15, the condition being that these should not be in the COVID-19 containment zones, and specific measures need to be ensured during the exhibition of films to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

With just four days left to re-start your movie theatre journey, there are several important guidelines that the workers and visitors need to follow.

General Guidelines:

i. Adequate physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.

ii. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory at all times.

iii. Availability of hand sanitizers, preferably in the touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as common areas within the premises.

iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or handkerchief or flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.

v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.

vi. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

vii. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Also read | Unlock 5 guidelines: All weekly markets in Delhi to open now; cinema halls from October 15

Entry & Exit Points: 

a. Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points. Only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.

b. Provisions for hand sanitization should be made available at all entry points and in work areas.

c. Designated queue markers shall be made available for entry and exit of the audience from the auditorium and the premises.

d. The Exit should be done in a staggered row-wise manner to avoid crowding.

e. 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.

Seating Arrangements:

a. The occupancy of the cinemas, theatres and multiplexes shall not be more than 50% of their total seating capacity.

b. Seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas, theatres and multiplexes to be made in such a way that adequate physical distancing is maintained. 

c. 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).

d. 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:

a. Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises—duly following physical distancing norms shall be ensured.

b. Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms.

c. Efforts shall be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission. The audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow the audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner.

Staggered Show Timings at Multiplexes:

a. Staggered show timings shall be followed for multiple screens to avoid crowding.

b. 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.

Booking and Payments: 

a. 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.

b. Contact number shall be taken at the time of booking of tickets to facilitate contact tracing.

c. The purchase of tickets at the box office shall be open throughout the day and advance booking shall be allowed to avoid crowding at the sale counters.

d. a Sufficient number of counters at the box office shall be opened with adequate physical distancing norms, to prevent crowding during physical booking of tickets.

e. Floor markers shall be used for physical distancing during queue management at the box office.

Sanitization of the Premises:

a. Frequent sanitization of the entire premises, common facilities, and all points which come into human contact, e.g. handles, railings, etc. shall be ensured.

b. The cinemas/theatres/multiplexes auditorium shall be sanitized after every screening.

c. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the box office, food and beverage areas, employee and staff lockers, toilets, public areas, and back-office areas shall be ensured.

d. Measures for the safety of sanitization staff such as adequate provisions for rational use of gloves, boots, masks, PPE, etc. shall be undertaken.

e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if any person is found positive.

Staff Related Measures:

a. Wearing of face cover for staff is mandatory at all workplaces and adequate stock of such face covers should be made available.

b. All employees who are at higher risk, i.e., older employees, pregnant employees, employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public.

c. With a view to ensure safety at the workplace, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Arogya Setu is installed and updated by all employees their mobile phones.

d. Communication and training of the staff on precautions related to COVID-19, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, etc. shall be carried out.

e. Self-monitoring of health by all employees/staff and reporting any illness at the earliest shall be ensured.

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