As Covid-19 cases continue to decline in the state, the Maharashtra government has allowed multiplexes, drama theatres, and auditoriums to reopen from October 22.
From mandatorily using the Aarogya Setu application to digital payments, the Maharashtra government has released certain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Tuesday for reopening these places.
Multiplexes, drama theatres, and auditoriums are reopening in the state after 18 months. Since March 2020, drama theatres and multiplexes in Maharashtra have been shut down except for the two months before the second wave hit the state. Following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government had imposed another lockdown.
Here are the new set of rules to be followed for reopening multiplexes, drama theatres, and auditoriums:
1. The occupancy of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes/auditorium shall not be more than 50% of the total seating capacity.
2. Aarogya Setu application showing safe status shall be mandatory for all visitors in cinema halls/theatres.
2. One or alternatively visitors can show the final Covid vaccination certificate.
3. All staff including those employed at food court/cleaning services must have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine and 14 days must have elapsed since the second dose.
4. Staggered show timings for multiplexes to avoid crowding.
5. Digital no-contact payment methods should be used for booking tickets, payment for food and beverages.
6. Proper crowd management in parking lots, thermal screening of visitors, only asymptomatic people will be allowed. Restricted persons in elevators have been advised.
7. Regular Covid-appropriate behaviour including masking, physical distancing, covering of face while coughing/sneezing, regular hand sanitization etc need to be maintained.
8. No food and beverages will be allowed inside the screening hall. Purchased packaged food and beverages will be allowed only outside the screening hall.
9. Staff must be fully vaccinated.
Special SOPs for drama theatres:
1. Only designated people shall be allowed to operate curtain, backstage property etc.
2. It is recommended that the cast and crew should regularly have their medical check-ups done. Regular fumigation of the auditorium will be the responsibility of the management.
3. Daily fumigation of the sets and green rooms should be conducted.
4. Strictly no guests allowed at the backstage/green rooms.
5. Child artists have to use Aarogya Setu App showing safe status. Their regular checkup has been recommended.
Malls in Maharashtra were shut only two days after they were reopened on August 15, 2021. The malls were opened after 130 days but were closed only two days after reopening due to a circular by the Maharashtra government requiring malls to fully vaccinate all employees, retailers and housekeeping staff before resuming operations.
According to the latest state health bulletin, the state reported 1,736 new cases of Covid-19, the lowest daily count in nearly 17 months, and 36 new deaths on Monday.