The Maharashtra government has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cinema halls, auditoriums, and drama theaters, which are set to reopen from October 22, allowing them to operate at half the capacity. Social distancing and other COVID-19-related norms must be followed, said the guidelines issued on Monday.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had last month announced that cinema halls and drama theatres in the state can reopen from October 22. The government on Monday came out with three separate GRs (Government Resolutions or orders).
"The occupancy of cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes cannot be more than 50 percent of the total capacity and adequate social distancing must be ensured," the SOP for cinema halls stated.
Showtimes of cinema halls will have to be "staggered", and the sale of only packaged food and beverages will be allowed. Food and beverages can not be taken inside the screening auditorium.
Cinema halls in containment zones will continue to remain closed.
"Even though permission is granted to start cinemas, cinema owners will be required to abide by the rules laid down by the Departments of Revenue and Forests, Relief and Rehabilitation, and Public Health," read the SOP.
Cinema-goers will be required to wear masks. Sanitizers should be available inside the halls, toilets, and in other places. Spitting should not be allowed anywhere on the premises, and thermal check-ups will be mandatory at entry.
"Spectators must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or their health status on the Aarogya Setu app must show as safe," according to the SOP. Air conditioning in cinema halls should be set at temperatures between 24 to 30 degrees Celsius and humidity levels between 40 to 70 percent.