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Maharashtra issues SOPs to reopen cinema halls, auditoriums

Mumbai:Maharashtra’s government on Tuesday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for reopening auditoriums and cinema halls on October 22. The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 led to a halt in cinema operations by mid-March, which were resumed in various parts of the country for two months in October and November last year.

Maharashtra reported 1,736 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, the lowest count in nearly 17 months, and 36 new fatalities, bringing the total number of infections to 65,79,608, and the death toll to 1,39,578, according to the health department.

Here are the latest guidelines:

1. The occupancy of cinemas/theatres/multiplexes/auditoriums should not exceed 50 percent of their total seating capacity.

2. Visitors in cinema halls/theatres must show the Aarogya Setu App showing their safe status or, alternatively, visitors must show their final Covid vaccination certificate.

3. All employees, including those in food courts and cleaning services, must have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and 14 days must have passed since the second dose.

4. To prevent crowding, multiplexes should schedule shows in staggered timings.

5. The use of digital payment methods without contact should be used for booking tickets, as well as paying for food and beverages.

6. Parking lots will be properly managed, visitors will be thermally screened, and only asymptomatic people will be admitted. There are restrictions on using elevators.

7. The practice of masking, physical distance, covering the face when coughing/sneezing, and regular hand sanitization are also enforced.

8. Food and beverages are not allowed inside the screening room. Purchased packaged food and beverages will be allowed only outside the screening hall.

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There are specific SOPs for drama theatres:

1. Backstage equipment and curtain operations must only be conducted by designated individuals.

2. The cast and crew should undergo regular medical checks.

3. There should be daily fumigation of the sets and green rooms.

4. Guests should not be allowed backstage or in green rooms.

5. The management should regularly fumigate the auditorium.

6. Kids have to use Aarogya Setu App to check their safety. A regular checkup is recommended.


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