We got you fam! Gov’t allays public fears on cinema reopening

Published February 19, 2021, 4:18 PM

by Betheena Kae Unite

Cinema goers need not worry about the possible surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections once cinemas reopen in Metro Manila, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Chief Ramon Lopez said.

A worker sanities inside a theatre hall ahead of the scheduled reopening of cinema theatres on October 15 as the Covid-19 coronavirus imposed lockdown eases further in New Delhi on October 13, 2020. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The government, Lopez said, has crafted a set of guidelines to ensure that the reopening of movie houses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) will not lead to further transmission of COVID-19.

“The mayors now have the draft of guidelines, so yung panagamba natin na kakalat ang COVID-19 ‘wag kayong mag-alala dahil (so our concern that COVID-19 will further spread, do not worry about it because) the experts — the technical working group– have looked into this,” Lopez said during a televised briefing Friday, Feb. 19.

“Yung mga cinemas nga na nasa MGCQ (modified general community quarantine), nag-allow sila na magbukas, walang nag-spike (When cinemas in areas under MGCQ resumed operations, there was no reported spike),” Lopez added.

Some of the protocols mentioned in the draft implementing guidelines include the wearing of masks while inside the cinema, proper ventilation, and the conduct of sanitation inside the cinema between shows, the trade chief disclosed.  

However, Lopez also said that they would study the gradual increase in capacity of cinemas starting at 20 percent.

The opening of cinemas has been moved to March 1 to give way to further consultations.