New Delhi , January 31: Starting Feb 1, full occupancy will be allowed in cinema halls while following all COVID-related protocols, said Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar on Sunday.
"Online booking of tickets will be encouraged. Detailed guidelines have been released," the Minister said. Terming the decision as "good news for cinema lovers", the Minister said that Union Home Ministry had given the nod to the decision of opening the cinema halls on January 27.
According to the guidelines, all cinema halls and theatres will ensure the COVID-19 protocol including social distancing, face mask, sanitisation, installation of 'Aarogya Setu App', thermal screening at the entry-exit point.
These measures should be observed all the time. the exhibition of films shall be allowed in containment zones. The States or Union Territories may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment, the guidelines stated.
"No-contact transactions should be the most preferred mode for tickets, food, and beverages. Contact number shall be taken at the time of booking of tickets to facilitate contact tracing," the guidelines added.
In its last set of guidelines issued earlier this month, the government had allowed cinema halls to operate at a higher capacity.
In October 2020, the Centre had allowed cinema halls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity. Cinemas and theatres across the country were shut for several months under the COVID-19 induced lockdown.