MANILA—An organization of cinema operators on Wednesday assured moviegoers it would be safe to watch movies on the silver screen once theaters in Metro Manila reopen after a 19-month closure.
"We would like to assure the public that cinema is a safe place," Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines president Charmaine Bauzon said in a statement.
"In fact, LGUs have converted some theaters into vaccination centers, and no super-spreading were ever reported, even though people waited inside for hours."
Last week, the country's pandemic task force allowed cinemas to reopen at 30 percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals after placing the capital region under looser restrictions.
The CEAP said it would strictly impose health protocols to ensure the safety of moviegoers.
These protocols are:
- Monitoring of moviegoers’ body temperature as they enter the cinema
- Moviegoers to present authentic vaccination card
- Implement regulations set by the IATF and LGUs on facial coverings
- No eating inside the cinema
- Enforce socially-distanced seating
- Encourage contact-less transaction in ticket-purchasing
- Improved air ventilation
- Availability of hand sanitizers at the cinema entrance
- Mandatory hand-washing every 30 minutes for cinema employees
- Deep cleaning between screenings
The CEAP also stressed that only healthy, fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed back to cinemas.
"If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or other symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 – or think that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home and we welcome you to join us again in the future," Bauzon said.
The CEAP said the 19-month long closure of cinemas had "dealt a severe blow to the entire movie industry, leading to unprecedented massive unemployment."
It is estimated that a workforce of some 336,000, including directors, screenwriters, ticket-sellers and cinema suppliers, has lost its livelihood, the group added.
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