In view of the alleviation of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in Mumbai, the city’s civic body – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – has authorized the reopening of cinemas, dramatic theaters and auditoriums starting Friday, albeit due to a pandemic of protocols like mandatory use of face masks and social distancing.
In three separate orders, the BMC earlier this week released Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of these establishments which are expected to gradually get the city’s cultural and entertainment landscape back on track after an extended shutdown due to infectious disease. . The Maharashtra government has also allowed amusement parks to reopen “dry” (without any water rides) from today.
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The BMC said its SOPs will only apply to cinemas, drama theaters and auditoriums in Mumbai that fall under its civic jurisdiction. Last week, the government of Maharashtra issued broader statewide orders detailing SOPs for all of those establishments that can operate at 50% of their audience capacity.
Now, in addition to the measures announced by the state government, establishments under the jurisdiction of the BMC will have to comply with the SOPs issued by the civic body, which include the mask’s mandate and social distancing standards.
Covid-19 protocols for movie theaters
According to the new SOPs, show times in movie theaters will have to be “staggered” and the sale of packaged food and beverages only is permitted. However, under no circumstances may these foods be taken inside the screening room, where moviegoers will be required to put on their face masks at all times.
Hand sanitizers should also be made available, both inside the hall and in each of the toilets. Spitting will not be permitted anywhere on the premises and thermal checks will be mandatory at points of entry. In addition, according to the SOPs, air conditioning temperatures inside movie theaters should be set between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Moviegoers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least the primary dose, or their medical condition on the Aarogya Setu app must indicate “safe,” detailed SOPs. All staff, including food court workers and those involved in housekeeping, however, must be vaccinated with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and at least 14 days must have passed since the second. dose.
Amusement parks will reopen “dry”
Although Mumbai’s amusement parks are also expected to reopen from Friday, no ‘water rides’ will be allowed given the pandemic situation.
The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting of the Covid-19 task force, chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “We are slowly relaxing the restrictions and the number of patients appears to be declining,” Thackeray told reporters after the meeting. “There is also a constant demand to extend the working hours of restaurants and shops.”
Earlier today, the Chief Minister met with representatives of the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association in Mumbai and said theaters and movie theaters should have appropriate fire and structural safety checks before they reopen. .