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LIST: Quick Guidelines You Should Follow When Cinemas Reopen

This is how to watch movies at cinemas under the new normal.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the recommendation to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31, allowing cinemas to reopen.

Other establishments and activities such as permitted venues for meetings and social events, tourist attractions, amusement parks or theme parks, recreational venues, limited face-to-face classes, dine-in services, and religious activities are allowed at 30% indoor venue capacity and 50% outdoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated people. (Read: Alert Level 4? Here’s What You Should Know About IATF’s New COVID-19 Alert Level Systems)

Thousands of workers in the film industry lost their jobs as cinemas closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) expressed its gratitude for allowing cinemas to reopen after almost two years since the lockdown. It also assured that they will comply with the guidelines for the health and safety of all employees and moviegoers.

No snacks and drinks

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SM Cinemas in Santa Rosa, Laguna implement #SafeAndFunMovieWatching against COVID-19 as the province allows 50% capacity in indoor cinemas under modified general community quarantine. (Photo from Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News)

People are used to bringing popcorn and other snacks inside the cinema to eat while watching the movie. However, snacks and drinks will be prohibited in the meantime because face masks must be worn at all times. 

One seat apart

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Photo from Marianne Bermudez/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Unlike the usual set-up, where everyone can freely sit beside their families and friends, the seating arrangement in the cinemas under the new normal would be different. Moviegoers need to comply with one seat apart rule to maintain physical distancing in the cinema. It also means that not all seats will be occupied to avoid large crowds. (Read: Gov’t Urged To Review Safe Reopening of Economy Under Areas With Low Alert Levels)

Safety precautions

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Undated file photo shows a vaccination card of Manila (Photo from Ian Lising/Philstar.com)

In a news report from CNN Philippines, CEAP president Charmaine Bauzon said that there would be a mandatory temperature check and contact tracing form. Moviegoers need to present their vaccination cards as well.

“And as part of the guidelines, at 30% capacity, only fully vaccinated people can come in, so we also need to check your vaccination card,” she underscored.

All employees are also required to get fully vaccinated and observe the health protocols, such as wearing face masks, physical distancing, and washing of hands from time to time. Bauzon reiterated that cinemas will be sanitized before and after each screening.

The Department of Health said that it will monitor the reopening of cinemas and if there will be an unusual increase in cases. (Read: PSA: COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines For Minors)

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