There is a good news for cinema lovers in the country. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has given permission to open cinema halls with 100% capacity across the country from 1 February. The Center has also issued new guidelines for the Coronavirus crisis. Under the new guidelines, it has been approved to increase the seating capacity of people in theatres and multiplexes from the current 50% to 100% following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Under the SOP issued by the Ministry, it will be necessary to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet in the auditorium and general areas. It will be compulsory for masks of persons entering theatres. Sanitiser arrangements are mandatory for persons entering and exiting the cinema hall. Spitting in the cinema hall would be strictly prohibited. It will be mandatory for people coming to theatres to have the Arogya Setu app on the phone.
Significantly, the cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes were closed in March last year with the onset of Corona epidemic in the country. The government had given permission to open theaters in October under Unlock 5. Subsequently, states like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka started opening theatres after 50% audience capacity. After this, states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu also opened cinemas. Rules such as wearing masks, social distance and sanitization were enforced before entry into theatres.