Cinema halls, auditoriums, amusement parks to reopen today

Cinema halls, auditoriums, amusement parks to reopen today


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In view of the easing Covid-19 situation, the city's civic body, the BMC has allowed cinema halls, drama theatres, and auditoriums, to reopen from Friday, with Covid-19 protocols like the mandatory use of face masks and social distancing.

The BMC issued the SOPs for the reopening of these establishments that are set to gradually bring the entertainment and cultural landscape back on track after a prolonged period of closure due to the pandemic. The Maharashtra government has also allowed amusement parks to reopen ‘dry’ (without any water rides).

The BMC said its SOPs will be applicable to only those cinema halls, drama theatres, and auditoriums which fall under its civic jurisdiction. Last week, the Maharashtra government had issued broader, state-wide orders detailing the SOPs for all such establishments that can operate at 50% of their audience capacity.

Covid-19 protocols for cinema halls - According to the new SOPs, show timings in cinema halls will have to be “staggered” and the sale of only packaged food and beverages is allowed. However, these food items can at no point be taken inside the screening auditorium, where cinema-goers will be required to put their face masks up at all times.

Hand sanitisers should also be made available, both inside the hall as well as in each of the washrooms. Spitting will not be allowed anywhere on the premises and thermal check-ups will be mandatory at entry points. Moreover, according to the SOPs, air-conditioning temperatures inside the cinema halls should be fixed between 24-30 degrees Celsius.

Movie-goers should be vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least the primary dose, or their health status on the Aarogya Setu app must show “safe”, the SOPs detailed. All staff, including the workers at the food court and those involved with housekeeping, shall, however, need to be vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 shot, and at least 14 days must have passed since the second dose.

Amusement parks reopen ‘dry’ - Amusement parks in Mumbai are also set to reopen from Friday, but no ‘water rides’ shall be allowed in view of pandemic.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Covid-19 task force, chaired by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. He said, “We are slowly relaxing the restrictions and the number of patients seems to be decreasing. There is also a constant demand to extend the working hours of restaurants and shops.”