New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed 100 per cent occupancy in cinemas and theatres from February 1 throughout the country. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting also issued new guidelines for the functioning of cinema halls and theatres amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.Also Read - PM Modi’s Security Lapse: What Is Blue Book Rules That Punjab Police Allegedly Ignored | Know What SPG’s Manual Says

Here’s what the new set of SOPs says:

1) People visiting theatres and cinema will have to maintain a physical distance of 6-feet from others. Also Read - Oxfam, IMA, IIT Delhi, Jamia Milia Among 6,000 NGOs to Lose Foreign Funding Licence: MHA

2) Use of face masks will be mandatory at all times. Also Read - No Accounts Frozen, Says Home Ministry as Foreign Funds Clearance of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Refused

3) Hand sanitizers will be made available at entry and exit points.

4) Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.

5) Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.

6) Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

7) Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Theatre owners as well as film distributors welcomed the decision as they were among the worst-hit lot during the pandemic. Cinemas were shut in March following the nationwide lockdown. However, the government allowed partial reopening in October, with the seating capped at 50 per cent capacity.

“We welcome the decision of @MIB_India to allow 100% capacity in cinemas from February 1 and extend our sincere gratitude to Honourable @PrakashJavdekar ji and everyone involved in facilitating this important step in our industry’s recovery,” Producers Guild of India said in a tweet.