The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed 100 per cent occupancy in cinemas and theatres from February 1 across the country adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued amid the ongoing Covid pandemic. Audience are also allowed to carry their eateries inside the theater.
“There is good news. In February, people can watch and enjoy films in theatres as we are allowing full occupancy in all cinema halls. Cinema halls can now open at 100 per cent capacity. We encourage as much online booking (of tickets) as possible,” said Prakash Javadekar while making the announcement.
“Staggered show timings will be encouraged so that the entry and exit of the crowd can be managed better. Sanitisation and all Covid-19 safety protocols must be followed,” the minister added.
Javadekar said he hopes people will “welcome” this move as the government is working towards relaxing several restrictions imposed due to the abnormal challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Customers can also buy food and beverage from the stalls at the theatres and can carry it with them inside (the auditorium). These are all normal things but when the situation became abnormal due to Covid-19, we had to put these restrictions. These restrictions are on the verge to be relaxed,” the minister added.
Post lockdown, the Centre had allowed reopening of theatres and multiplexes in several regions, including Delhi, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on October 15, 2020 with 50 per cent occupancy, functioning with stringent dos and don’ts, keeping in view the new normal.
Theatres in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh opened last November, whereas cinema halls in Tamil Nadu and Kerala resumed operation in early January.