Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: After more than one and a half years since the film industry has been experiencing a halt pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reopen auditorium and cinema halls from October 22.

As per the SOPs cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will be allowed to open with 50 per cent seating capacity. Visitors will be asked to show their ‘safe status’ on the Aarogya Setu App before entering the theatres and Covid-appropriate behaviour including masking, physical distancing, regular hand sanitisation, etc needs to be followed.

However, the reopening of cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes is not applicable in the containment zones.

Here's a complete list of the SOPs issued by the Maharashtra government:

  • Respiratory etiquette must be followed, including usage of face masks, the adequate social distancing of at least six feet outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
  • Spitting will be prohibited.
  • Usage of the Aarogya Setu app will be mandatory.
  • Thermal screening of visitors will be done at entry and exit points in a staggered, row-wise manner, to avoid crowding.
  • If a person is partially or non-vaccinated, they can still enter the theatre. However, they have to show the 'safe' status on their Aarogya Setu app.
  • For payments for tickets, food, and beverages, etc contactless digital transactions will be used. 
  • Advance booking shall be allowed, to avoid crowding at the sale counters. 
  • Auditoriums shall be sanitised after every screening. Frequent sanitisation of the entire premises, common facilities, and all points which come in human contact, including handles, railings shall be ensured.
  • The dos and don'ts will be delayed throughout the premises by way of announcements, standees, posters.

The film industry has experienced a huge loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic as many movie shoots and theatres across India were halted twice. In 2020, film production activities and theatres business came to a standstill from mid-March when the pandemic first struck India, only to be restarted for a few months from October and November in various parts of the country.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha